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Týr: Eric the Red

09/07/12  ||  BamaHammer

I shouldn’t like this. At all. Everything about it just smells of something that I would inherently hate with its dumbass folk themes and occasionally proggy feels. I have no idea why I even started listening to it or even though enough of it to write a review, but for some reason i can’t stop listening to this shit. It’s not particularly groovy or heavy, but it has an inherent catchiness about that’s pretty undeniable.

The main reason for the infectiousness of what this album offers is the storytelling quality of the lyrics. When this band is singing in English, they do a fine job of portraying some epic event or folklore lyrically, and it really sucks you into the music. The opener, “The edge”, is one of the coolest songs I can recall in the lyrics department, telling the story of a king’s assassination and the subsequent guilt which followed. Despite the Faroese (their native tongue) parts peppered in between the English, it’s a fantastic folktale told alongside some fairly interesting progressive heavy metal. They also even turn in a rendition of the old Irish drinking song, “The wild rover”, that always puts a smile on my face.

When the riffing and actual songwriting fail on this album, the lyrics are actually good enough to pick it up. While songs like the aforementioned “The edge” and “The wild rover” do possess some pretty tasty riffs that are moderately heavy and easy to follow, some of the other tracks don’t have that same luxury. In particular, when the band sings in Faroese for an entire song, they tend to lose me because they take away what made them so interesting, which was of course the lyrical quality. There is no doubt that Týr is made up of some very musically talented individuals, but it always sounds as if they try too hard to play in an off-the-wall time or feel which destroys a lot of their potential groove.

Production-wise, this album is top notch. The vocals, in their immense importance, are loud and fly above everything else, while the bass is actually very loud and firm underneath it all. The guitars, which are detuned a bit, have a pretty metallic edge about them, but they sound almost hollow or boxy when they are doing the harmonizing thing which adds some more depth to their sound.

Luckily, Týr has the ability to tell a story like few other bands out there, and for that reason alone, they should at least be commended with a listen. They’re not going to knock your socks off with heaviness or freak you out with uncanny guitar solos, but they will tell you a few tales to wrap your mind around for a little while. If you’re a fan of heavy metal that’s a little on the progressive side, you may dig this for what it is. If you’re into hearing neat little bits of lore with your metal, I don’t see how you can go wrong with these guys. They do it better than most.

7

  • Information
  • Released: 2003
  • Label: Tutl
  • Website: www.tyr.fo
  • Band
  • Gunnar Thomsen: bass
  • Heri Joensen: vocals, guitars
  • Terji Skibenæs: guitars
  • Kári Streymoy: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. The Edge
  • 02. Regin Smiður
  • 03. Dreams
  • 04. The Wild Rover
  • 05. Stýrisvølurin
  • 06. Ólavur Riddararós
  • 07. Rainbow Warrior
  • 08. Ramund Hin Unge
  • 09. Alive
  • 10. Eric the Red