TYR - By The Light Of The Northern Star

Tyr - By The Light Of The Northern Star

9 songs
43:32 minutes
***** ***


Although coming from the Faroe Island with a population of hardly 50.000 inhabitants, Tyr who where founded in 1998 have long since become an institution of the international folk metal movement. This certainly won’t be changed by their fifth longplayer By The Light Of The Northern Star, even if this new output has become more compact than its predecessor Land.

Right from the start, the music is very epic, and the lyrics fitfully deal once again with ancient Scandinavian myths. Their symbiosis of folk and power metal works splendidly, as in the past, but compared to previous works, I miss the really long compositions. This time, their songs are all between four and five minutes long, only the title track at the end of the record reaches a six minute length. That’s why the new CD is only three quarters as long as their previous efforts. Tyr put their emphasis once again on fast riffs and catchy melodies that, combined with a couple of horns of mead, make you want to sing along. The upbeat Ride makes it hard not to dance along to. The songs are all strongly straightforward and often display a very hymnic character. If you close your eyes and allow yourself to let go, it feels like being in a Viking village. Especially the a cappella choirs, as on Turi­ Torkilsdˇttir, give the CD a very definitely Northern touch. Actually the band highlights the multi-layered vocal lines, which works great in their case. Just as in the past, they sing not only in English, but use their native tongue Faroese on two tracks. Sometimes even Tyr can surprise, as with the really unusual guitar solo on Hear The Heathen Call.

Tyr have managed to write one more time nine great hymns that absolutely fill their audience’s expectations. They may no longer sound original, but they have found their trademark sounds that works for them. No one would blame Mot÷rhead or AC/DC for always reusing their sound. I would have liked to hear a longer and more playful track on the album, but maybe that’s something that Tyr will get back to on their next album.

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