Artist:  Tyr
   Title: Valkyrja
   Label: Metal Blade Records
 

A good friend of mine loves this band from the Faroe Islands, and after the first listen I was also hooked, and can see why my warrior friend has the bands previous six albums and is an avid fan of these marauding Vikings!

'Valkyrja' is a concept album with a story line based loosely around an unnamed Viking age warrior who leaves his woman and goes off to impress the Valkyrje on the field of battle, so that he may be brought to Valhalla, (or to Fólkvangr). Valhalla is the home of Freyja the goddess of love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, sorcery, war and death.  What you get is an epic album, of  battle hymns and tales of magic, this is possibly the best concept album I have ever heard, Tyr are one of the most popular folk metal bands, known for singing in their native Faroese, a Nordic language of the past, this band are a true Viking Metal band.  What I am struck by throughout this beast of Metal offering is Heri Joensen's vocals they are clear, melodic and stunning. So let the story of daring do and Metal abandonment begin. 

Opening with a Power Metal groove 'Blood of Heroes' really hits the spot, it prepares you for the journey into battle and heroic times then 'Mare of My Night' is amazing, melodic, heavy and teasing.  'Hell Hath No Fury' pummels and plunders as the tale is woven, then the absolutely stunning 'The Lay of Our Love' conjures up beings changing in motion and emotion, as it weaves its magic, with a guest appearance from singer Liv Kristine (Leaves Eyes), you will get shivers and tingles through  your body.  This is  a true masterpiece and one of the strongest ballads ever!

'Nation' has you sword in hand, shield ready advancing across the battlefield, this is a song to get your blood pumping and adrenaline rushing as is 'Another Brother Fallen', charging across the battlefield, slicing flesh with no quarter given. Then 'Grindavisan' sung in Faroese is a monumental, striking and glorious battle hymn that simply takes your breath away.  'Into The Sky' slain and taken on the journey to the Norse gods, into the Metal heavens and 'Fánar Burtur Brandaljóđ' another track sung in Faroese washes into your being, melodic and heroic, with some excellent riffs. 'Lady of The Slain' is pure unadulterated metal.  Final track is the album title 'Valkyrja', it’s grand and impressive as is the whole of this true work of Metal Art!

The album has two bonus tracks, which the band execute showing their expertise as they do stunning covers of Iron Maiden's 'Where Eagles Dare' and Pantera's 'Cemetery Gates'.  

It's November and I thought I had my album of the year already lined up, well these Nordic warriors have left me spellbound speechless and in total awe, these Folk Viking fighters have produced an outstanding album that will appeal to all fans of Metal, seriously bow down to the greatness of Tyr! And if like me you aren’t familiar with their previous albums and were a bit dismissive of the whole Folk, Viking genre, 'Valkyrje' will change your mind forever!!

Review by: Seb Di Gatto

Tracklisting:

1. Blood Of Heroes
2. Mare Of My Night
3. Hell Hath No Fury
4. The Lay Of Our Love
5. Nation
6. Another Fallen Brother
7. Grindavisan
8. Into The Sky
9. Fanar Burtur Brandaljoo
10. Lady Of The Slain
11. Valkyrja
12. Where Eagles Dare
13. Cemetery Gates
 

                  

 

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