Review : TYR – "The Lay of Thrym"

TýrThe Lay of Thrym
Release: 2011May27 (US)
Label: Napalm Records
Rating: 4.5/5

Released exactly two years after By the Light of the Northern Star, The Lay of Thym is worth the wait. Especially after listening to Heri Joensen discuss the making of this album:  reading the Sagas; studying classical music; tying current politics to the poetic lyrics; and reworking ancient tunes while incorporating their own artistry into Týr‘s original and consistent melodies and sounds.

Now, for people who specifically prefer Týr‘s slower, more progressive older work, you may not enjoy this. As they gradually lean away from their original influences, the amicable simplicity and folky goodness does remain, but with a stronger power metal skeleton. The riffs are heavier and faster paced, the driving drums are headbang-worthy, the vocals are mighty and triumphant.

The lyrics are super catchy and memorable, whether English, Danish, or their native Faroese—an incredibly beautiful language, perfectly linked to their mystifying history and stories in the Sagas. One of these, “Konning Hans”, covers the album perfectly—a gradual lullaby guitar melody builds before Heri chimes in, and develops as ancient chants sync to upbeat drums that pick up the slower notes which encompass most of their songs. Still, there are more quick melody changes and charging choruses than ever before, such as in “Flames of the Free” or “Hall of Freedom”. And though “Take Your Tyrant” was a superb pre-release single, it is better appreciated here, as the intensity and epicness shine alongside its nine other brethren on the album.

“Evening Star” is my favorite—beautifully-composed and deliberately-paced, it’s all the more heartfelt by the touching lyrics: “When home is far behind and ever the long roads wind, I’ll keep your memory in my mind, one day I’ll repay in kind. For so long as I’ve gone and so far I’ve wandered, the evening star has shone thus far.”  And the sweet, bluesy solo has technical patterns and emotional wails that will drive you wild.

The Lay of Thrym further solidifies the consistency of Týr, whose unique sound may throw off first-time listeners until they start humming the tunes later and come back for more. Týr again prove to be a distinct voice in the realms of folk metal, rewarding on every return.

Try tracks: 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10

01. Flames of the Free
02. Shadow of the Swastika
03. Take Your Tyrant
04. Evening Star
05. Hall of Freedom
06. Fields of the Fallen
07. Konning Hans
08. Ellindur Bondi a Jadri
09. Nine Worlds of Lore
10. The Lay of Thrym

~LaiLaiHei

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