Hello everyone, this is a guest review of "Valkyrja" by Tyr written by Morgan Rider, lead vocals and bassist for folk metal band Vesperia and bassist of power metal band Crimson Shadows. You can check out Vesperia, here, and also Crimson Shadows, here. Don't forget to listen to the respective bands here and here, as well as buy merch here and here.
Buy this album
(link available September 17th)
1. Blood of Heroes
2. Mare of My Night
3. Hel Hath No Fury
4. The Lay of Our Love
6. Another Fallen Brother
8. Into the Sky
9. Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð
10. Lady of the Slain
12. Where Eagles Dare
I had the pleasure of having TYRs latest offering passed along to review this month. VALKYRJA is what this molten, expertly crafted slab is entitled and we must once again applaud our favourite Faroese heroes for displaying their mastery of their art. At no point does VALKYRJA fail to harness your full attention with it's crushing riffage, intoxicating hooks and an overall velocity that takes you for one massive ride into and across the rocks of their native
The opening track BLOOD OF HEROES cracks off in true TYR fashion, immediately commanding your neck muscles to thrust your skull back and forth with no other goal than to splinter bones and sever blood vessels, leaving you blood-high in battle fervour. The chanting full chorus lines have you humming along before long and begins to set the stage for the awesome sing-along and sexually explicit lyricism on MARE OF MY NIGHT.
Being a fan of the band since I was introduced to them in 2008, I held high hopes that TYR would follow up with a fresh and catchy album to keep the momentum they amassed when they released their 2011 album THE LAY OF THRYM. HEL HATH NO FURY instantly pours the groundwork to what I felt was so resolute on their last album, offering their excellent grooving riffs and bouncing choruses which just feel so right. THE LAY OF OUR LOVE opens and immediately slows the mood of the album to a more somber note. I was surprised at first at the inclusion of the female vocals, but as the song progresses you begin to realize the texture they add as vocal harmony upon vocal harmony build on top of it. Before you know it, you have your fist in the air, shouting 'FUCK YEAH' at how badass it turns out sounding. I would definitely recommend this track as a highlight of the album.
One fact alone that I kept needing to remind myself of was that
NILE's George Kollias was behind the kit
for this record. It was an easy thing to overlook because Kollias blends into
TYR's style seamlessly. This only further displays Kollias' god-like drum
skills apart from his work with NILE.
Ignorance on his complete role in TYR leaves me to ponder on his inclusion in a
live setting with TYR… I can only hope for it as this would raise their live
standard even higher.
NATION, ANOTHER FALLEN BROTHER, GRINDAVISAN & INTO THE SKY offer the best driving music I have had in a few months and further display why I should not be listening to metal while driving. I am amazed my dash is not covered in speeding tickets. Maybe one day soon when I have amassed many tickets, I will take a picture of them and the VALKYRJA album then send it to them as fan mail. Getting back to the point; TYR further encourage the sing-alongs (despite the fact many of their fans probably do not speak Faroese. though we try!), and endeavour to create two-man mosh pits in the kitchen while drinking home made mead. In my opinion this part of the album is over way too quickly and I was left hoping at least one of these songs would last just another minute! FANAR BURTUR BRANDALJOD begins in a style reminiscent of TYR's earlier days with 2 guitars playing a folk style before Heri begins to sing in his native Faroese. The song immediately burdens up with a heavier groove, which gives way occasionally a nice folk melody. A very nice interlude song.
LADY OF THE SLAIN immerses us immediately and slams into a beast of a gallop riff that definitely had me thinking of the song THE LAY OF THRYM. The chorus lyrics in this song are fucking awesome. I have had them stuck in my head for days since I started spinning this record. The title track VALKYRJA is the longest song on the record, spanning exactly 7 and a half minutes, tying the record together and brilliantly shines as a classic TYR song.
Another thing I have come to love about TYR is their beautifully executed covers. On VALKYRJA, TYR offer us 2 covers. Iron Maiden's 'Where Eagles Dare' & Pantera's 'Cemetery Gates'. The Maiden cover on first listen goes over amazingly. Heri Joensen gives us his full Bruce Dickinson and it is a beautiful thing. Cemetery Gates is almost pitch perfect on every instrument, including every little subtlety heard on the original track. Terji nails every solo with precision.
VALKYRJA is chalk-full of the massive song craft and incredible hooks we have all come to know and love from our beloved TYR.