Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: Týr - The Lay Of Thrym (2011)

Týr [ MySpace ]
The Lay Of Thyrm

When I reviewed Týr's Eric The Red back in January of 2004, I was blown away by the Faröese band's seamless integration of folk, power, doom, and progressive strains of metal. At the time, I declared Heri Joensen - Týr's frontman and primary songsmith - to truly be a bard of the modern age. Now, many years and three albums later, Týr return with the epic The Lay Of Thrym and I can honestly say that my opinion of the band hasn't changed in the least. They still manage to weave, almost effortlessly, various metallic threads together into a tightly bound folk metal fabric that is rousing, enveloping, and unshakably infectious.

Some might say that Týr hasn't grown their sound much, if any, from their Eric The Red effort. There's truth to that, though the formula they've hit upon and stuck with remains exceptionally appealing and can be argued is what many bands within the folk metal envelope strive to achieve, though most never do. The band's signature guitar tone, put forth by Joensen and Terji Skibenæs, remains engaging and powerful as do drummer Kári Streymoy's intricate fills. Behind the mic, Joensen once more grasps the listener with his unique style that draws inspiration from both bardic tradition and classic metal crooners. I, for one, am perfectly content that Týr's sound remains untinkered with and wholly enjoyable.

The Lay Of Thyrm, which bears the name of one of the poems of the Poetic Edda, derives some of it's lyrical content from Nordic mythology and folklore but - more so on this album than on previous releases - current events play a large role in driving Joensen's pen to paper. The popular uprisings against tyrannical rule in Saharan Africa and the Middle East are reflected in songs such as "Take Your Tyrant", with the catchiest refrain of the album, and "Hall Of Freedom", an epic track sporting theatrical choruses and solos that are among the disc's most progressive. "Shadow Of The Swastika", which - if you listen closely - shows underlying hints of Third Reich propaganda melodies, steps back into recent history for yet another example of the corruptive nature inherent in absolute power.

Though some of the words allude to the afflictions of our modern world, Týr's music remains steadfastly folkloric. Whether it be the ballad "Evening Star", which compliments the power of the surrounding tracks with its plucky riffs and intricate solos, or the title track and its ethereal guitar tone that conjures up images of mist-enshrouded fjords and menacing longships, each and every song on The Lay Of Thrym combines to form a spectacular album of captivating - and energetic - folk metal. Genre enthusiasts will want this release on their shelves.

Track Listing
1Flames Of The Free4:18
2Shadow Of The Swastika4:24
3Take Your Tyrant3:54
4Evening Star5:05
5Hall Of Freedom4:08
6Fields Of The Fallen5:00
7Konning Hans4:28
8Ellindur Bóndi á Jaðri3:56
9Nine Worlds Of Lore4:05
10The Lay Of Thrym6:49
Total Runtime46:07

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