The Lay Of Thrym
posted on 5/2011 By:
Týr has been unleashing their uniquely progressive brand of epic metal since 2002, but they have only recently begun exploring a more commercial appeal. Heavily inspired by traditional Faroese music as well as Norse mythology, Týr has struggled to incorporate these influences in the past, with 2008’s balanced yet somewhat boring Land immediately springing to mind. Their distinctive sound has proved a double-edged sword, and Týr has commonly sacrificed powerful moments by taking a far too compositionally complex approach to their songwriting. Fortunately, this is not the case on their latest album, The Lay Of Thrym.
Capturing the accessibility of their last album, By the Light of the Northern Star, this album is more power metal oriented than ever before, and has the capacity to reach a much wider audience. It’s not Eric The Red, their most acclaimed, adventurous, and seamlessly integrated release to date, but it’s still a genuinely memorable release with many strengths.
Opening with the brisk and high-spirited “Flames Of The Free”, the album doesn’t lose vigor or focus over ten tracks. As a vocalist, Heri Joensen serves as the perfect hybrid of power metal frontman and bard, weaving epic tales with ease. The signature guitar tone also remains unchanged, but the songwriting is more infectious and listenable than ever before. For those who have found Týr dull in the past, this album may sway their opinion. The Lay Of Thrym definitely sticks to some semblance of a formula, but not to the album’s detriment. Dedicated fans won’t find much to complain about, and new listeners may be more engaged by the energetic approach taken on the record.
It seems as though Týr is steering away from some of the eccentricities of their past releases, but their more straightforward metal approach will surely bring them more success. “Hall Of Freedom” is a powerful, heroic, and irrefutably fun track that recalls Amon Amarth at their best. For those missing Týr’s more bombastic and unusual songwriting, the title track provides this. “The Lay Of Thrym” has the sweeping guitar work, layered vocal harmonies, and dynamic rhythmic sections of past releases, but with a more accessible edge. While most of the songs are in English, Týr hasn’t abandoned their Faroese roots completely, with two epic tracks performed in their native tongue. Their fusion of influences has achieved equilibrium on this album, and Týr has unquestionably attained a hold on the Viking metal genre without completely sacrificing their unique roots.
Is the band bringing anything new to the table? Not this time. But why mess with what clearly works? Týr has been honing their craft over six full-length albums, and it seems like they’ve really discovered the most surefire ways to showcase their strengths. Overall, The Lay Of Thrym is extremely well-produced, and a consistently enjoyable listening experience. Hopefully they won’t succumb to pure “epic” formula (Yes, Amon Amarth, this is a stab at your last few albums), because Týr's latest is pretty damn good.
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By The Light Of The Northern Star
Eric The Red (Re-Release)