The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world









Now this is the stuff! Driving Metal and fantasy lyrics may sound like the escapism of youth but music should always be something that takes you to another place and Ty’r does just that on Valkyrja no matter how old or young you are. After the initial blast of ‘Blood of Heroes’ you’d be wrong to assume you’d be getting anything unexpected to follow, but this is an album that really lives up expectations for those familiar with the back catalogue. For those not too familiar this is Folk/Prog Metal the way it should be – looking to the skies.


Not taking themselves too seriously has always been a hallmark of Ty’r and the lyrics to ‘Mare of My Might’ are hilarious, the fact it’s also a great song add a little ‘Spinal Tap’ or ‘Steel Panther’ to a genre that is always in danger of taking itself far too seriously. But Ty’r is by no means a one-trick pony – there’s so much here to enjoy.


In a genre that either takes itself far too seriously or equally takes itself not seriously at all Ty’r seem to have found a balance in treading a path that doesn’t pigeonhole them at all. There are enough elements of Progressive, Folk and Power Metal to broaden their appeal without watering things down at all. There’s also enough harmonies and guitar histrionics to give a big tick in both boxes. At an hour plus running-time you can also add value to that equation.


Eschewing flutes and the like you could argue that Ty’r aren’t really Folk Metal at all especially when you consider the melodic vocals of Heri Joensen, and that holds up to a point except when you factor in songs like ‘Grindavisan’ (my favourite here even though I have no idea what it’s about lyrically) and ‘Fanar Butur Brandaljod’ which employ their native Faroese language – one of the few languages that have deep-rooted Viking connections. Both are great songs carried by melodic backing vocals.   


For emotional content too Ty’r aren’t lacking with ‘The Lay of Our Love’ employing a soft female vocal in a lament about family left behind on the warrior trail. It’s heady stuff.


Perhaps the biggest surprise though is the end of the album which adds covers of both Iron Maiden and Pantera in ‘Where Eagles Dare’ and ‘Cemetery Gates’:  while the former is a good cover ‘Cemetery Gates’ is nothing short of exceptional – the best cover of a song by the Texan powerhouse I have EVER heard.  


You need to hear this album.



Mark Diggins