Released: 2008, Napalm Records
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
LAND came out in 2008 on Napalm records and there were no line-up changes and was recorded once again by Jacob Hansen. The cover art is very nice picture of a dragonship done by Ingo Romling and the booklet is well done. What is most interesting to me is that the songs are based on ancient songs and poems and ‘metalized’. The lyrics are mostly in Faroese, Icelandic and Norwegian as the lyrics are adapted and there are full translations of these stories some dating back to the 1800’s. In my mind two songs anchor the album ‘Ocean’ and the title track ‘Land’. ‘Ocean’ runs 10 minutes and ‘Land’ runs 16 minutes, making the pair some of the longest songs in the bands catalogue. At this point the band stopped writing long songs (to date) and went into a more conventional 4-5 minute song length for all the albums that followed.
The opening song, ‘Gandkvaedi Trondar (Tondar’s Magical Chanting) sets the tone and pace for the album with booming narrative and of course chanting. The song is broken into roughly two halves with the opening section before the guitars and drums punch in. The quartet used a variety of additional instruments such as cello and violins and some of the vocals are chanted in the traditional style. I feel this is the album where they have achieved the best blend of traditional folk sounds, lyrics and Metal. The band includes a reworking of ‘Hail To The Hammer’ that originally appeared on the debut and the song has become a fan favourite in the live show. The songs may lack a little speed and power at times, but recall these are adaptations not written as true Metal songs, and much of the album is mid-tempo but still faster than many sludge or doom bands!
This was the last Tyr album where the northern and folk influences were really prominent. After this point the Power Metal aspect became more prevalent. I don’t mind as I love both styles, but for some reason over the ages, LAND has become my favourite Tyr album.