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Týr - Erik The Red (9/10) - Faroe Islands - 2003

Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Tútl Records
Playing time: 60:27
Band homepage: Týr

Tracklist:

  1. The Edge >mp3
  2. Regin Smidur >mp3
  3. Dreams
  4. The Wild Rover
  5. Styrisvolurin
  6. Olavur Riddararos
  7. Rainbow Warrior
  8. Ramund Hin Unge
  9. Alive
  10. Eric The Red
Týr - Erik The Red

They've done it, they really struck gold with this one. Hearing TÝR's music is like going on an eventful trip through the ages and actually witnessing great deeds of brave men. It's not about fun and games, this band wants to remind us of our origins, your roots are supposed to be in the music, it gives you identity. "Eric The Red" handles these cultural cornerstones rather well and fuses identity and honesty into an unmistakable sound that will surface every time these young ambitious lads put their heads together.

The band has matured a lot; written by guitarist, prominent songwriter and now also lead vocalist Heri Joensen, "The Edge" is a perfect example of the band's progression; great guitar arrangements, soaring vocal lines and a chorus worthy of Valhalla itself. "Eric The Red" also has a clearer, heavier simply put better sound than its predecessor, which of course is demanded when you have such promising song material. Contrary to the last album, which had a somewhat Doomy feel to it, the music on "Eric The Red" has been given an extra injection of up tempo heaviness, the song "Dreams" displays this change of tempo rather well and also includes some unexpected slick HELLOWEEN duelling in the middle, this one will undoubtedly become a live favourite. As always the band has some Faroese ballads up their sleeve, this time they've chosen to cover bold tales like "Regin Smiđur", "Ólavur Riddararós" and the surprisingly merry interpretation of the traditional Irish piece "The Wild Rover".

"Ramund Hin Unge" is another (Danish) traditional piece; perhaps the best song of the album this song has some very strong melodies and Heri's vocal performance is superb. However, the album's true centrepiece is the epic "Stýrisvřlurin" ("The Tiller" when translated into English), what the band has achieved on this track is unique, the music paints the whole scenario in front of the listener, just picture that ship struggling as it clashes with the mighty waves. The last two tracks lean towards a more Progressive Metal sound (especially "Alive" tends to go into DREAM THEATER guitar territory) but they never stray too far away from the band's trademark sound.

Kári's drumming has been taken to the next level, very heavy with frequent double bass runs, which certainly adds intensity to the songs. The band has added the young ex FLUX guitarist Terji Skibenćs into the fold; he may be young but nevertheless delivers some excellent solos on the album. Grand be this release, if you haven't gotten this album yet, I urge you to do so, period. (Online February 2, 2004)

Frodi Stenberg



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