Tyr in Kassinurme Hills July 20th 2007

Event: Týr
Written by: Ernis
Published: 20.12.2007
The following concert review is not fresh. In fact, it is meant to be a reflection of times which have passed, a remembrance of a summer night and nature. There were times…

I had been listening to Tyr for a longer period of time back then and they became quickly one of my favourite bands with their distinguished style and themes. To see them live was definitely a dream for me but I never thought I would see them that soon. Indeed, for my great surprise I discovered that the band would give a performance at Kassinurme Hills somewhere in Estonia at the Mytofest event.

At first I was slightly worried about getting there. Mytofest is an annual live action role players' fairground held in Kassinurme Hills somewhere in the rough vicinity of the town of Jõgeva. I didn't know if I would've been morally or spiritually prepared to find myself surrounded by elves, pixies, banshees, nazguls, mighty Numenoreans or other such folks nor had I any idea about the possible location of the mysterious Hills. But my love for the music of Tyr was way too grand to miss that opportunity to see them.

I prepared myself by contacting several friends but, alas, they couldn't come. Luckily for me, I did find a fellow Metalstormer and a brother of another Metalstormer and, three's company. We took the train to the town of Jõgeva. Since we knew that the Hills were supposedly located south of the town itself at a distance of six kilometres as written on the official site of the event we decided that walking these six kilometres wouldn't be any problem for us. We went to the town merchant Master Selverus and equipped ourselves with food, water and the most important thing ever, beer. With bags packed bursting we started our little walk from the town to seek for the hills.

The website had given slightly incorrect information. There weren't any proper road taking south from the train station, therefore we just followed the rails. After wandering in the wilderness and almost getting lost in the forest, choosing the wrong path and walking back to find the right way again we found ourselves on the rails again. We crossed the river and walked in silence with our heavy bags surviving passing-by train-monstrosities and witnessing the ultimate lack of any traces of human population around us. We had reached the middle of nowhere.

After roughly ten kilometres we finally found a junction of roads and a small village path leading along a lonely field with a small sign "To Kassinurme Hills." We walked another two kilometres on that road and finally reached the verge of forest in the last rays of the setting sun. An old man standing there looked at us and after hearing we had walked all the way to the Hills he seemed more or less surprised. Naturally.

We were about to enter a very unusual environment. After setting up the tents next to the golden barley field we entered the realm of Mytofest. The slopes of the hills were covered with high and dark trees and paths lead from the top of one peak to the top of another. One path leading to the gates of a stronghold, others leading to the embrace of forest. Between the hills there was a pond deep in the gorge forming a natural amphitheatre. A naked woman, possibly a mermaid, who later turned up to be a statue was in the middle of the pond and in the pit, one the very edge of the pond was the tiny wooden stage where some maids waving their gowns according to the sound of music. We approached the edge of the crater and saw that the members of Tyr were already sitting there. Doing what? Drinking of course.

The warm-up bands, Latvian traditional music groups Auļi and Vilkači had finished their performances. I had seen Auļi some years before at a Medieval Renaissance event in Latvia and they had left me with a positive impression. However, they were clearly belonging to the genre of traditional music, without any metal influences at all.

We sat down on the wooden benches attached to the slope of the amphitheatre crater and waited for the band to finally rise from behind their table and drag themselves to the stage. They did so and started to play "The Edge." This music deeply moved me. I was so glad to hear one of their most beautiful songs in such a damn nice place as the magical hills. Unfortunately we couldn't see the band for the dancing live action role players blocked the view.

Then Heri announced that they weren't used to playing for sitting audiences and demanded all on the benches to descend to the stage. As we were invited, we managed to push the live action role players mostly to the sides and occupy the front rows. With the medieval cosplay soldiers with shields and spears serving as security guards the band continued their songs. Everything went well. People were pleased and the band performed all songs flawlessly.

The most precious moment of all night was when they played the title track of the last album "Ragnarök." One of the best songs of this genre I've heard so far. A strong passionate, sad and hopeful song. It filled the night air and all the lights reflecting on the water, the dark trees surrounding the hills, the dark red and blue summer sky with its dim golden shadows near the horizon. This was indeed one of the highlights of all summer in general. Very picturesque.

Along with "The Edge," the starting song of the show, they played other grand pieces there. Of course, I particularly enjoyed those from the second album "Eric the Red" and the song "Ragnarök." "Regin Smidur" was played, one of the best songs of the second album. When Heri said "As I see lots of you are wearing one around your necks, then we will play a song of this!" I would have been most fortunate if they had played "The Hammer Of Thor" as I was expecting but nah, they did the infamous song from the first album "Hail To The Hammer." I don't hate that song but compared to the song I expected this wasn't so good at all.

Seemed that there were other people as well whose dreams shattered in a way. Some from the audience cried "Ormurin Langi!" but the band wouldn't play it. They left and returned for one more song. "Ólavur Riddararós" was performed and all of a sudden the gig was over and the night shades had overwhelmed the hills. During the show I noticed that some metal people had also appeared from some places though they didn't outnumber the amount of live action role players.

Groups of people surrounded the bandmembers and even I found a moment to catch two of them, Kári the drummer and Heri the singer. Got the autographs and exchanged couple of words with Heri, who was back at a very important business, sipping ale. At least now he heard that someone thinks in Estonia that songs in Faeroese language are excellent. I must have left a very ignorant and brainless impression but all in all I had finally seen one of my favourite groups live. I was still disappointed they didn't play more songs from "Ragnarök" which is such a masterwork that even its fillers can't be skipped while listening.

The three of us who had made it to this gig went to our tents where we had ale. The night continued with ale and gin and the morning brought the painful waking in the cruel world of reality. We left the pixie land and returned to the town. I still hope to see Valhalla one day. And may Tyr continue making grand music. Of course, I still hope to hear the whole "Ragnarök" album live one day.

Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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Susan - 20.12.2007 at 05:05  
Wow, what a magical experience! I was lost reading this How special that you were able to experience this.

I will see Tyr perform in my city this coming spring but it will be in a tiny club. I'm not exactly complaining about that, but how much more magical it would be to see them in an open field! Thanks for writing this
Ernis - 20.12.2007 at 21:48  
Thanks...I'm really glad my writing made someone glad.....Yeh...the nature there is indeed nice....
destroyah - 21.12.2007 at 15:47  
Sounds like an awesome set for a gig

Btw. how many larp'ers were there?
Ernis - 21.12.2007 at 20:48  
Written by destroyah on 21.12.2007 at 15:47

Sounds like an awesome set for a gig

Btw. how many larp'ers were there?

You expect me to have counted'em? Nah, there were lots of cosplay fans out there in general.....cool thing was that when me and those other guys got already drunk enough, we decided to walk through the area on a road and it lead to the forest and it continued....luckily I was sober enough to notice that when there weren't any lanterns luminating the place and no lights were visible any more, then I suggested returning....pitch dark forest in the night is br00tal however....
Pinusar - 21.12.2007 at 22:43  
You have some talent at describing things, I must say, I almost relived the whole journey while reading that. Although the review is a bit late... I hadn't listened to Tyr that much before seeing them actually, but I would like to see them again and it was quite a good location for a gig, even if a little bit hard to get to.
Ernis - 21.12.2007 at 22:48  
Thanks Pin, however, I need to say I've gotta learn a lot from Destroyah....his articles are on a much higher level....
Semíramis* - 26.12.2007 at 19:16  
Really nice work. I would love to see one of my favourite bands alive in a place like that xD. And I really like Tyr btw.
Tod_Engel - 02.01.2008 at 15:33  
Ah, it was a great concert. Tyr couldn't have had a better place for a concert, near an old sacred Estonian pagan worship-place. The surrounding nature there, it's just...erm..beautiful
I remember that there were quite a lot of metalheads, but they were still overshadowed with dancing and sitting larpers (actually was one of them year ago).
One funny thing was that band didn't actually have a so called backstage. When they finished concert, fans could just go and talk to the bandmembers. I did talk to the vocalist, but it didn't fall out as good as I intended. At least I managed to say, that I liked their performance a lot.
Warman - 02.01.2008 at 19:56  
Týr's an okay live band IMO. Did they play Ramund Hin Unge? That's by far their best song, especially live.
Tod_Engel - 02.01.2008 at 20:09  
If I remember correctly that song wasn't in their setlist. They might have played it.

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