Tyr - _Land_
(Napalm Records, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (
Tyr take full credit for placing their homeland, the Faeroe Islands, an autonomous region of Denmark, squarely on the metal map -- first with sophomore _Erik the Red_, then further cemented with _Ragnarok_, and now _Land_. Their use of clear voiced and prog edged heavy metal was a relative novelty in a scene dominated by predictable folk ditties, and their idiosyncratic sound has found fans across the world.Tyr would be foolish to abandon this winning formula, and the difference between this and its predecessors is slight; there are fewer catchy choruses and solos, and a greater focus on pagan texts in their native tongue; but apart from this, I'm hard-pressed to unearth any significant differences. But then, Tyr are hardly in need of fixing, although they do falter with the inclusion of "Hail to the Hammer". It's a great, anthemic song that is sure to gain classic status in the years to come, but it is already familiar to most through the demo version included on _Erik the Red_ -- why do a re-recoridng now, especially when the newer material is not wanting for quality? If this were a lesser band, I would consider its inclusion lazy, but with Tyr it just seems inexplicable. Nevertheless, the rest of the material is possessed of minor faults at best, and any song is easily better than what the rest of the Viking / pagan metal realm has to offer this year.
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