Tyr - Hel Album Review [2019 Metal Blade]
About The Band
Releasing their first album in 2002, TYR have been a mainstay of Folk Metal and Power Metal circles for nearly two decades. Hailing from the Faroe Islands, the band derive their name from the Norse god of war, the band’s music revolves around the lyrical themes of Norse mythology, Vikings, and historical records. They have played alongside such contemporaries as Amon Amarth, Ensiferium, Holy Grail, Turisas, and Korpiklaani. This is the band’s first album since 2013’s Valkyra.
The album opens with the wailing siren that is “Gates of Hel.” This nearly six and a half-minute anthem is a great way to start with it’s massive sound that makes you want to sing along and pump your fist in unison! “Downhill Drunk” is another highlight here in my humble opinion, the vocals are layered in with the guitars and it gives it an interesting edge that separates it from the pack. It’s also a solid lead-in to the more aggressive “Empire of the North,” which features a groovier chorus than you’d expect, wedged between some of the heaviest riffs the band have offered in quite a few years. “Against the Gods” also gets credit here for heavier aggression than usual in the verses, in part due to the kick ass drumming.
“Sunset Shore” takes the listener down a different path with a power ballad like feel. The choruses are huge, while the verses are slightly more introspective sounding. There are some heavy parts (especially the fantastic soloing), of course, but it really helps break the album’s straightforward sound up a bit. Meanwhile, “Alvur Kongur” takes the album out on much the same note it comes in on. The big, powerful sound, as well as the Faroese language lyrics, makes for a pretty epic ending.
In the early to mid-2000’s there was a point where I thought this style was going to take over everything. While it never really scaled the final summit, it’s still loved by a diehard fanbase and albums like this are exactly why. Everything here is crisp sounding and as epic as metal comes. If you enjoy any of the aforementioned bands, or bands like Falconer, Brainstorm, and Hammerfall, then you should definitely be all over TYR’s Hel.