Rating:
7.7
Týr - Valkyrja
13 September 2013


01. Blood Of Heroes
02. Mare Of My Night
03. Hel Hath No Fury
04. The Lay Of Our Love [Feat. Liv Kristine]
05. Nation
06. Another Fallen Brother
07. Grindavísan
08. Into The Sky
09. Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð
10. Lady Of The Slain
11. Valkyrja
12. Where Eagles Dare [Iron Maiden cover] [bonus]
13. Cemetery Gates [Pantera cover] [bonus]


So, the Faroese Vikings are docking again on our shores. In the last years, their raids have become slightly less exciting, more easily predictable and pretty much similar from one to the other. Did the Valkyries bring a breath of fresh air?

No, they did not. Týr's seventh album is exactly what many expected, and probably some feared: a coherent yet appreciably unoriginal sequel to 2009's By The Light Of The Northern Star and 2011's The Lay Of Thrym. The band's trademarks - both positive and negative - have not been altered, but there are some small differences that help distinguish Valkyrja from its predecessors.

First of all, this album confirms the trend of "refining" the band's sound, once rough and wild, now clearer, more bombastic. This can be an up or a down depending on the listener's tastes, but it's undeniable that to achieve these results the band is sacrificing some mordant. Every now and then the music happens to sound somehow pre-packed; it seems to have lost its traditional, and appealing, unconventionality.

Moreover, it seems like the band is trying to enlarge its audience, trespassing it's frontiers and trying to appeal to fans of more unadventurous music: an example of this is "The Lay Of Our Love", a ballad that is maybe the nearest to a radio-friendly song that the band has ever composed. Also the physical appearance of the band itself has been "standardized": the mighty beards are gone, replaced by a generous dose of photo editing.

I hoped that one of the factors that would have made Valkyrja shine over the other albums would have been the change of drummer. In fact, former member Kári Streymoy left, and the album was recorded with Nile drum master George Kollias. That unfortunately didn't make the expected difference, probably because he had to play drum parts already written by someone else.

Valkyrja, however, isn't absolutely a bad album, in typical Týr tradition it is enriched with some masterpieces. The track "Another Fallen Brother" is ready to become one of the fan favorites during live performances. The title track shines above the others in effectiveness, complexity and epicness, and the band managed to assimilate perfectly the Iron Maiden and Pantera covers. However the album is weighted down by forgettable fillers, sadly some of which are the Faroese-language tracks; those usually shined as gems in the past but here lose most of their appeal.

The statement made during my Powerwolf Preachers Of The Night review can easily be extended to Týr: sometimes, lost in seas of experimentation, it's reassuring having bands to count on for which you already know what to expect.

Altogether I'd be sincerely surprised if Valkyrja ended up being the favorite of a long-time fan of Týr's discography, but it won't be their least favorite either. However this could be the album that introduces the band to a wide new range of supporters. Týr's latest effort is in fact their most accessible work to date, but still retains that charming, pugnacious soul.


Band profile: Týr
Album: Valkyrja


 



Written on 19.09.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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ImperialTroll - 20.09.2013 at 06:20  
I don't see how this band can change its sound anymore, they have pretty much everything you could ask for in an album, any other alteration to their sound could be risky, they could try to have some growling guest vocals (that would be AWESOME) or maybe throw in more folk instruments, but that would also be too risky.

My favorite songs so far are "Blood Of Heroes" and "Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð". And the covers are fucking terrible.

Great reveiw tho
Lit. - 20.09.2013 at 07:54  
That cover... can't resist...

WOLOLO!
R'Vannith - 21.09.2013 at 07:01  
"Hel Hath No Fury" and "Lady Of The Slain" are favourites for me. Less stand outs on this than the previous album but still great music overall. The way they are writing these is getting tamer by the album. They've found a certain comfort in just writing catchy melodies without being quite as adventurous or as explorative of their own sound as they were in their early days.
YoreLore - 27.09.2013 at 12:43  
Sucks that the sound of Eric the Red has been lost. Need to listen to Heljareyga to get a prog fix. I do like this album but I think a few of the tracks are bland, predictable and pale in comparison to tracks from the older days. I'm talking about tracks like Another Fallen Brother (what an annoying chorus) and maybe even Blood of Heroes. I think a track like Grindavísan wouldn't be completely lost on an album like Ragnarok. Nation also has some brilliant parts. Not really happy with the appearance of Liv Kristine either, why get in some famous female vocalist for a ballad? Nonsense.

It's not as good as Eric the Red, Land or Ragnarok. It's maybe a bit better than Thrym but not as good as By the Light of the Northern Star. It's not quite time to laser off my Tyr sleeve tattoo though lol.

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