Týr // The Lay of Thrym
Label: Napalm Records
Rating: 4.0/5.0 —Rejoice, Sheeple! A number!
Websites: myspace.com/tyr1
Release Dates: EU: 2011.05.27 | USA: 06.07.2011

As soon as this album was announced, the literary nerd in me did a little dance of glee. The title is taken from a section of the Poetic Edda, a collection of old Norse poetry. An alternate title for The Lay of Thrym is “The Fetching of Thor’s Hammer,”that’s about as epic as it gets.

Týr are a band that do so much more than dabble in the cultural milieu they’re engaging with. They have fully committed to their aesthetic; they do bloody research; and they want depth, knowledge and authenticity. I have a profound respect for their dedication to Viking metal and culture.

This is the sixth full-length album from the infamous Faroese metal band, and their growing expertise within their genre definitely shows. I adored By the Light of the Northern Star, and this album is at least its equal. The Lay of Thrym maintains the same level of epic songwriting and extraordinarily catchy choruses, while the quality of the recording is even cleaner.

Heri Joensen’s trademark vocals are mixed perfectly and the drumming comes across a bit more deep and aggressive than on previous releases. It’s not a huge leap forward, but definitely the product of thoughtful tinkering and perfecting their sound.

Týr‘s greatest strength as a band is how goddamn fun they are to listen to, how much energy they bring to their live shows and how impossibly infectious their music is. Every song on this album has the potential to turn into an earworm.

“Take Your Tyrant” stands out as a track that makes me want to pump my fist in the air while sitting quietly at my desk, and is sure to be a great success when incorporated into live set lists. They also offer fans of their slower, more ballad-like work solid offerings with “Evening Star” and “Konning Hans,” which manage to be poignant while incorporating some blasting double-kick.

This is most definitely a Týr album; they aren’t treading any startling new ground. However, if you dig clean-voiced Viking metal, this album is absolutely necessary. Týr own their aesthetic, occupying it fully and comfortably without allowing their work to become stagnant. The Lay of Thrym is a solid, powerful album that continues Týr’s reputation of being incredibly catchy and fun. It is a pleasure that I indulge with absolutely no guilt.

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