Released: 2009, Napalm Records
Here's some compelling reasons why you need to check out Týr (if you haven't already):
1. It's Viking Metal!
2. It's Viking metal without the stereotypical growling vocals!
3. The band is from the Faroe Islands (go to Google earth/maps if you're geographically challenged and don't have a clue where that is..haha)
4. Some of the songs are sung in Faroese.
5. Some of the song melodies comes from Nordic/Faroe culture
6. There is an anti-Xtian/oppression message which is something I strongly support.
7. Because I am giving this a 5/5! ha!
This album is the band's fourth release in as many years. Sadly, I only heard of this band in mid-2009. Why they've been so under my radar until now is a mystery. Oh well, better late to the table than not at all. I actually stumbled into this band on my own and by accident. I was doing some kinda google search on Viking metal and then hit some blog that had a few Viking metal albums reviewed there. The artwork for “By The Light of the Northern Star” was there and it caught my eye not with just it's awesome quality, but also with what was depicted...the Viking warrior chopping down the cross. That was enough to make me want to hear it. Shock #1 was that the vocals were not the typical cookie monster crap, but was melodic, deep, and powerful. Sometimes the vocals sound a bit like James Hetfield (not the LOAD (of shite) era.). There are absolutely NO growls and inane shrieking here, not even for part of the album...thank you very much!! In places there are doubled and harmony vocals that sound fanfuckingtastic! The melodic and often progressive nature of the music does not take away from the heaviness. The overall feel is still aggression, and very metal. The songs are VERY catchy, the one that really grabbed my attention first was “Hold The Heathen Hammer High”. Then there is the brilliant “By the Sword in My Hand”...just wow! The chorus of “By the Light of the Northern Star” is another which will be rattling around in your brain after just a couple of listens.
When I picked up my copy, the special/limited edition version was there and was only a couple bucks more so I went for it. Unfortunately they turned out to be just two VERY short instrumental tracks “The Northern Lights” (01:48), and “Anthem” (01:36). Good stuff, but really it's too short and just filler.
I've been playing this album a few times every week since the summer, and here near the end of the year I'm still not tired of it. I LOVE this album! it is easily one of the best releases of 2009, and in my books the best Viking metal album I've yet to hear!