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Valkyrja

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Metal Blade Records
  • ASIN: B00E688KA4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,353 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

TYR

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I came across Tyr three years ago and last year travelled to York for the Yorvik celebrations to see them perform live following the release of 'The Lay Of Thrym'. I was not disappointed, and the atmosphere within the claustrophobic venue full of chain mail wearing re-enactors, was electric. The band rocked, and I proudly held my heathen hammer high when called for by the singer, Heri Joensen.
Because of the thematic content of Tyr's songs they naturally fall into the rock sub-category of 'Viking Metal' but unlike the majority of the groups that fall within this genre, the songs are beautifully crafted and Heri's vocals powerfully emotive without recourse to the tuneless growls and comic roars that seem so prolific amongst other Viking inspired ensembles. Admittedly, Tyr's earlier material, from various differing line-ups, is not really to my taste - a little too 'folkie' for me. But the current line-up of Heri Joensen on vocals and guitar, Terji Skibenaes on guitar and Gunnar Homsen on bass, are a tight, heavy and rocking force at the top of their game, and despite them loosing their regular drummer on this album, it achieves the near-impossible and if anything manages to eclipse both 'The Lay Of Thrym' and 'By The Light Of The Northern Star' for sheer rocking brilliance. Acclaimed drummer, George Kollias, fits in seamlessly with the bands incomparable style, though being a Greek national, one wonders how he will fit in with the long-haired and bearded Faeroe Islanders if he ever appears on-stage with the band.
As has been mention by other reviewers, Valkyrja is a concept album, and follows the exploits of a warrior leaving his hall and his beloved wife to go off to war and, well, die for his nation and countrymen.
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Tyr remain to be a consistently great band with well-crafted songs with interesting lyrics based upon Norse mythology, Scandinavian history, culture and music which is in itself a bit of an education. What is great about each album is that they do manage to weave a theme that binds the songs together and in this the album can tell it's own tale as well as each song does itself. In Valkyrja there are a couple that stand out. First is the story of a nameless man who hopes to go off to war and be slain in battle so that he may be carried away by the Valkyries and end up in one of the two halls where the chosen slain are sent to, one being owned by Odin and the other belonging to the goddess Freyja who has associations with warriors killed in battle. Quite a typical theme for this sort of music but what is interesting is that the other common theme is the part that women and female mythical figures feature in this and the different aspects of these ladies. Mare of my Night is rather surprising for a Tyr song as it is rather sexually explicit but is based on from what I can gather a sort of succubus type creature and in the commentary CD with the deluxe edition, Heri and Terji explain some of the Scandinavian folklore that inspired it. Hel Hath No Fury could be said to be how things can go sour when the relationships between men and women break down and also maybe a bit of what the protagonist went through. The Lay of Our Love is a nice ballad with the lady in question being that of the wife or lover who doesn't want her partner to leave for war. Liv Kristne from Leaves Eyes provides some vocals, I know there were some groans when this was released but Tyr have written quite a few "love" songs on earlier albums.Read more ›
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The 7th album by Faroese metal group TYR moves a long way from the previous CD's theme of tyranny and the Arab Spring (`The Lay of Thrym'), to focus on relations between men and women and the strange things that these drive men to do. The main thread running through it is the story of a Viking who leaves his real-life sweetheart to seek death in battle so that a Valkyrie can carry him to Valhalla. The theme of escaping the frustrations of life through death is a sombre one, though not uncommon in TYR's work. Here it is made darker by the fact that the Viking's abandoned wife revisits him as a fellating demon (inspiring TYR's first sexually explicit lyric in `Mare of My Nights'), and we are not totally sure if his ambitions for Valhalla are fulfilled. However the hopes surrounding his death make for some fine and moving music especially in `Another Fallen Brother', `Into the Sky', and `Fánar Burtur Brandarljóð' (`the sound of swords fades', one of the CD's two non-English tracks).
Online reviews of the music so far have ranged from good to ecstatic. True, the general plan of the CD is strongly reminiscent of the last one; the melodic material is not all that varied, though helped by picking up some ideas from Heri Joensen's Faroese album `Heljareyga'; and some tracks are on the weak side to stand alone. But there are wonderful things here too, including a first-ever duet by Heri with guest singer Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull (`Lay of our Love') that tingles the spine. A secondary theme is Faroese nationalism, as reflected also in the anthem-like rendering of `Grindavísan' which celebrates the hand-to-hand cull of pilot whales. Above all, the musicianship is faultless and Heri Joensen's voice ranges as needed from the gruff and scratchy to the almost operatic.
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