on 2 October 2009
This was an ambitious album, halfway through Tyr's career to date. The themes of the songs tell a single story from the start of the feud between the pagan gods Thor and Loki through to Loki's final revenge when all gods die at Ragnarok, making way for a better (?) world. You need a lot of knowledge of Norse myths to catch all those references but you can also just enjoy the music. It is the usual mix of Faeroese folk tunes and heavy-metal treatment, where the last couple of tracks cleverly turn dance-tunes into really sinister echoes of global destruction. Nice also to have separate short instrumental tracks that include some amazing guitar playing, especially 'Rage of the Skullsplitter' that sounds at one point like Bach!
on 13 March 2013
Ragnarok is a truly excellent album, the amount of musical talent on display is unrivaled in my opinion.
The album is mash of loads of different styles of metal all smashed together, many characterise it as folk metal
probably again in my opinion because it is so hard to define and there a clear folk elements present in many of the songs,
for instance the song Valkyrie's flight is an old Irish tune called Fermoy lasses, but many of the songs have no folk elements present at all.
The lyrics for some of the songs are just original and somewhat philosophical in nature and many tell some of the Norse tales, albeit you
somewhat need to know what to listen for but the references are clear if you do. The actual music driving the songs along is masterful.
Switching between gentle intros that are based on smooth harmonics then immediately blasting into a thunderous riff. The intros
often set the melody of the main following event, however it is amazing the difference in style between the two.
The change is difficult to describe, the easiest way to demonstrate it is to say look-up the song Grímur Á Miðalnesi on YouTube then
follow it up Wings of Time, the same melody but the transformation is unbelievable.
The melodies themselves are often extremely complex also, with many layers all happening at once, it makes it a joy to
listen to but an absolute nightmare to play along with if you are a guitarist, can often be difficult to follow just one guitar
through the busy musical patches.
To sum it up, this is one of very very few albums that I can sit and do nothing else but listen to. I typically work while listening
to music otherwise I can become a bit bored, even if I really like the music; but with Ragnarok, I can happily just throw on a
good set of headphones and close my eyes and enjoy the music. Listened to the album roughly 100 times and still can just enjoy it
with no other stimuli.
TL;DR - Listen to it, it's amazing.