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Týr - Battle Ballads review




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Reviewer:
6.6

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7.2
Band: Týr
Album: Battle Ballads
Style: Folk metal
Release date: April 2024


01. Hammered
02. Unwandered Ways
03. Dragons Never Die
04. Row
05. Torkils Døtur
06. Vælkomnir Føroyingar
07. Hangman
08. Axes
09. Battle Ballad
10. Causa Latronum Normannoru

It seems Týr have been away at battle for the last 5 years, as they now return with glorious Battle Ballads to sing.

Forged from the great Viking nation of Denmark back in 1998, now residing in the inhospitable North Sea lands of the Faroe Islands is one of the biggest names in modern folk metal, Týr. Týr have developed a remarkably consistent discography throughout their 26-year existence, where from Hel by The Light Of The Northern Star, they tell ancient Viking folklore tales of Eric The Red, Ragnarok and Valkyrja, something that even the Norse God of War and Justice himself would find commendable. Now the band return once again to present Battle Ballads as their 9th full-length offering, but does it reach the epically melodic heights of its predecessors?

The band's line-up has remained mostly unchanged since the release of Hel back in 2019, with guitarist Hans Hammer the only new member featured in the line-up, joining the ranks alongside Tadeusz Rieckmann (drums), and founding members Heri Joensen (vocals/guitars), and Gunnar Thomsen (bass). So, in terms of style, not much has really changed, with the band still telling adventurous bardic tales of Viking folklore from the farthest reaches of the North Sea. Hammering its way in is opening track "Hammered", which is also one of the standout tracks on the album. One thing you can say about this song is that it's certainly a catchy opener; the songwriting is quite joyous and light-hearted, ideal for an easy listening experience as opposed to something more along the lines of extreme folk metal.

"Unwandered Ways" follows very similarly in style to the opener with another catchy chorus, supported by a semi-heavy melodic main riff, fairly rapid, competent rhythm performances, epic-themed keyboard melodies, and bard-like folkish singing ably supported by backing vocals. This style persists through to "Dragons Never Die", which is perhaps more memorable due to containing one of the album's catchiest choruses, along with some power metal-style keyboards and lightning-paced leads.

From here on out, I can honestly say things don't really alter that much in structure or songwriting, and although the epic factor certainly remains, there's not a lot that really grabs my attention, leaving me feeling slightly underwhelmed. However, there are several moments in which the band recreate some of their former glory, just not quite enough to sustain that magical epic vibe from some of their earlier records. There is one track that stands out from the rest, however, which is "Torkils Døtur". This is mostly a soft folkish ballad, something along the lines of Blind Guardian meets Ensiferum. The song features some light folkish acoustic guitar work, bard-like choir singing, and gentle synths playing in the background. I can best describe this as imagining a group of merry bards sitting around a campfire in the middle of a cold Nordic wood, singing after getting a bit tipsy on mead.

Overall, Battle Ballads is far from the band's best work to date; it certainly doesn't match the memorability of Eric The Red or By The Light Of The Northern Star, but at the same time, it doesn't drop below a standard quality. You can't deny there are still plenty of catchy folkish melodies, from both keyboards and guitars, and the clean bard-like singing certainly doesn't hold back on passion. There's still moments to enjoy throughout this record, and if you're an avid fan of Týr or Viking folk metal in general, this will still be a pleasant listen, maybe even more so for some listeners.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8





Written on 23.04.2024 by Feel free to share your views.


Comments

Comments: 1   Visited by: 5 users
24.05.2024 - 21:45
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I need re listen to all, but I think this is better as prev 2 ones. First 3 was killer and best of tjem, but this is solid album to.
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