Every time Faroese TYR come around the corner with a new album, the Metal world now takes notice, since they have managed to concoct and perfect their pretty unique mix of Power, Doom, Folk and some Progressive Metal over the course of five albums, now sailing into our ports with their sixth effort “The Lay Of Thrym”.
And at the same time this album will meet praise and criticism for pretty much the same reason. Upon listening to the ten tracks of this album, it seems as if mastermind Heri Joensen managed to get much of his progressive leanings out through his other project HELJAREYGA, because I don’t think that I’ve ever heard TYR as straight and catchy as on this rotating silver disc. Don’t get me wrong, we still get plenty of the Faroese trademarks, such as Heri’s remarkable voice, the Folk-tinged influence in the melodies and the overall atmosphere of the songs, but everything seems to have that added bit of catchiness and this is exactly where the critics will swoop right in and complain about the band having lost some of its character and heart, because things seem a little more mass-compatible than before.
Most of the tracks are on the faster side and only here and there we get some more complex passages or slower tempos, but at the same time the sheer quality of the melodies and riffs is just outstanding, making it hard to really fault the guys. From the energetic opener “Flames Of The Free” on the band is firing on all cylinders, with gripping melodies and driving rhythm, setting the pace (almost literally) and mood for what is to follow. Now while some may complain about the relative lack in variety in the tempo department, it is almost impossible to evade the magnificence and memorability of songs such as “Shadow Of The Swastika”, “Fields Of The Fallen” (one of my personal favourites, also adds a little more weight in the riffing) or the outstanding title track (one of the best ones they have inked so far).
The only track that takes on more of a progressive hue is “Konning Hans”, whereas the other song in Faroese language, “Ellindur Bóndi Á Jađri” plays into a similar direction as the afore-mentioned titles, but the so very different character of that language muffles the catchiness of the song and makes it less evident.
Some old fans may be a little disappointed but “The Lay Of Thrym”, but it technically is the logical continuation to “By The Light Of The Northern Star” as that album had been to the most progressive effort to date, which was “Land”. The album still sounds like none other than TYR and while I, too, miss a little of the more demanding side in their music, this still is one of the best albums of the year for me, for the next one, guys, a little more depth would be much appreciated ;)
(Online September 27, 2011)