Rating:
7.1
Týr - By The Light Of The Northern Star
29 May 2009


01. Hold The Heathen Hammer High
02. Tróndur í Gøtu
03. Into The Storm
04. Northern Gate
05. Turið Torkilsdóttir
06. By The Sword In My Hand
07. Ride
08. Hear The Heathen Call
09. By The Light Of The Northern Star
10. The Northern Lights [bonus]
11. Anthem [bonus]


Tyr is a wonderful and special band from a very special place, Faeroe islands. I personally love their music, so rich in melodies and emotions, the sound of the musicians' native language fitting perfectly the mood and flow of the music. Every album of theirs actually has some good moments in them with their new album By The Light Of The Northern Star not being an exception.

Eric The Red marked a rise in quality of the band's music and style which reached its full power and beauty with Ragnarök. Land continued in the good familiar style although in a more modest manner than Ragnarök. The newest album has a different approach though. As the band members mentioned, there was a theme of rivalry between Christianity and Scandinavian mythology in the concept. That ice can be slippery, in a way, since the concept of fight between religions, such as the "epic pagan versus the evil Christian" has been used so many times by so numerous groups that it has become somewhat tacky not to mention the rather corny video for the hit song of this album. In many ways the poetry and beauty of the Scandinavian culture is nicer to see and hear of than seeing just another frustrated cross burning manifest. (The video featured a very nice Celtic cross, a very beautiful symbol on its own.)

On the other hand, if to observe the album from the musical value itself, By The Light Of The Northern Star is a decent album with many memorable moments and melodies. The progressive side of the band is prominent as always and forms a very pleasant and rich musical landscape combined with the folk characteristics. There are fine guitar passages, flawless performance and the wonderful strong and clear vocals of Heri Joensen adding so much to the music. A thing to be noticed, whether it's bad or good depends on everyone's own personal opinion, is the structure of the album with most of the songs being of similar length, as if being following a standard. Several songs consist of repeated passages, repeated choruses, there is a lot of repeated about this album that could not be noticed on Ragnarök where songs were so polyphonic, so evolving and rich in composition they took the listener away as if a storming river or sea. This kind of music, for sure, requires certain mood. The new album's songs are, in that sense, easier to follow, easier to have as background music, easier to bang heads to etc. Some say it is good, some say it is not. One way or another, many people prefer this kind of catchier and easier approach.

Everyone should find something on this album for oneself to enjoy. For me best tracks of this piece would be "Tróndur í Gøtu", "Turið Torkilsdóttir" and "Northern Gate". Faeroese language is something that has always given the band's music the magic and the special atmosphere. English language songs dominate on this album, however. For some people, for sure, English is easier to follow, but, then again, there is less magic and feeling in it that way. The main hit of the day, "Hold The Heathen Hammer High" is catchy but somehow bit too nervous and not that Tyr-like. Slower songs of the band have had more power and thoughtfulness than this fast one where the speed makes it bit difficult to sing out all the lyrics.
To put these thoughts in a nutshell, Tyr's new album is a good release, the fans will surely appreciate it but it definitely will not surpass Ragnarök. But there will sure be albums by Tyr which will be of the same of higher level.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Band profile: Týr
Album: By The Light Of The Northern Star


 


written by Ernis | 28.10.2009



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 19  
Users visited: 181  
Search this topic:  


benvolent - 29.10.2009 at 11:28  
That is pretty much, what I expected: less time to compose - more easy and catchy songs...

good review!
Ellrohir - 29.10.2009 at 14:49  
I know the song "Hold the heathen hammer high" from Black Sails Over Europe split and i quite like it, though i admit it is exactly what you would call "easy and catchy song"
Daggon - 03.12.2009 at 03:25  
Well this album dissapointed me a lot, they are good musicians, this band IMO have their very own sound, and the vocals are pretty solid, but the catchiness of the album is a downside, Ragnarok and Eric The Red are awesome albums. "Land" has a really great song totally different than the ones in this album (I'm talking about the song of the homonimous name, Land).

It's not a great album, but it's not crappy at all, just catchy and as you said on your review, repetitive.
Well, you went straight to the point. Good review.
Uirapuru - 02.01.2010 at 03:37  
Well, after hearing a super boring ''Land'', this one almost sound like a masterpiece.

But the review was perfect, its a good release.
MétalNoir - 25.01.2010 at 21:19  
Good review, it respects different points of view. Myself, I think this is Tyr catchiest album to date, but that's mainly cause I'm not a prog fan and prefer faster metal. And yes, Faeroese lyrics are great, "Trondur i Gotu" rocks!
Skøllgrim - 25.02.2010 at 14:41  
What really bothered me and I can't understand is why they chose Hold the heathen hammer high as their music video and song to sort of represent their album (as seen on the black sails over Europe CD) I think that song (+ Northern gate, which also was on the black sails over Europe CD) is such weaker tracks than everything featured on this CD (In my opinion)... As for the album, I like the introduction of more aggression and speed, seeing how they pull it off so smoothly, it just feels nice with some variation and shows a new side by the band. Great addition of tracks and variation in sound for coming tours and albums. I particularly like the vocal performance on this record.
Ernis - 25.02.2010 at 20:36  
Written by Skøllgrim on 25.02.2010 at 14:41

What really bothered me and I can't understand is why they chose Hold the heathen hammer high as their music video and song to sort of represent their album

I think the same... this song and more so the video of it are very corny... It seems like some expression of "teenage rebellion"... They can create culturally higher level stuff...
Skøllgrim - 25.02.2010 at 22:03  
Written by Ernis on 25.02.2010 at 20:36

Written by Skøllgrim on 25.02.2010 at 14:41

What really bothered me and I can't understand is why they chose Hold the heathen hammer high as their music video and song to sort of represent their album

I think the same... this song and more so the video of it are very corny... It seems like some expression of "teenage rebellion"... They can create culturally higher level stuff...

Exactly what I was onto, its just straight forward and cheesy and there's such a big crowd of people who love that cheesy, easy and in my opinion sucky kind of folk music.... Týr has always been the kind of folk / Viking or whatever kind of band that always stayed "true". They have always given an authentic feel, strong melodies, lyrics, doing their own thing... not floating on this folk metal wave thingy, because its cool or fun or selling good.... *Caugh Korpiklaani caugh*
Ernis - 25.02.2010 at 22:13  
Written by Skøllgrim on 25.02.2010 at 22:03

Exactly what I was onto, its just straight forward and cheesy and there's such a big crowd of people who love that cheesy, easy and in my opinion sucky kind of folk music.... Týr has always been the kind of folk / Viking or whatever kind of band that always stayed "true". They have always given an authentic feel, strong melodies, lyrics, doing their own thing... not floating on this folk metal wave thingy, because its cool or fun or selling good.... *Caugh Korpiklaani caugh*

True... that's what "folk" is for lots of people... just some average rock/metal with ENGLISH lyrics about "Pagan Pride/Fight for FREEDOM/Kill the Christians and/or Raise the BEER!/Drink more MEAD!/Let's hang around in VALHALLA!/I Masturbate thinking about Valkyrs!"

Folk elements are optional... it's ok to add some accordion and violins but it can be generic metal too... what matters are the lyrics (the cornier, the better) and the viking CLOTHES...

I am glad about Tyr because they have always represented the proud and beautiful nature of their culture without crossing any borders (except now)... If I want to hear some, let's say, viking metal, I want to hear music with Scandinavian folk instruments in Scandinavian languages... if I want to hear Celtic folk, I want to hear the genuine celtic instruments and the sound of a Celtic language...

It is sad that in 90% of cases I only get some average metal band with cliché lyrics in ENGLISH and some folk colouring too which sadly disappears into the generic atmosphere...

Korpiklaani...yes... I understand what you mean... lots of people love them nevertheless... because they are easy...
Skøllgrim - 25.02.2010 at 22:21  
Written by Ernis on 25.02.2010 at 22:13

Written by Skøllgrim on 25.02.2010 at 22:03

Exactly what I was onto, its just straight forward and cheesy and there's such a big crowd of people who love that cheesy, easy and in my opinion sucky kind of folk music.... Týr has always been the kind of folk / Viking or whatever kind of band that always stayed "true". They have always given an authentic feel, strong melodies, lyrics, doing their own thing... not floating on this folk metal wave thingy, because its cool or fun or selling good.... *Caugh Korpiklaani caugh*

True... that's what "folk" is for lots of people... just some average rock/metal with ENGLISH lyrics about "Pagan Pride/Fight for FREEDOM/Kill the Christians and/or Raise the BEER!/Drink more MEAD!/Let's hang around in VALHALLA!/I Masturbate thinking about Valkyrs!"

Folk elements are optional... it's ok to add some accordion and violins but it can be generic metal too... what matters are the lyrics (the cornier, the better) and the viking CLOTHES...

I am glad about Tyr because they have always represented the proud and beautiful nature of their culture without crossing any borders (except now)... If I want to hear some, let's say, viking metal, I want to hear music with Scandinavian folk instruments in Scandinavian languages... if I want to hear Celtic folk, I want to hear the genuine celtic instruments and the sound of a Celtic language...

It is sad that in 90% of cases I only get some average metal band with cliché lyrics in ENGLISH and some folk colouring too which sadly disappears into the generic atmosphere...

Korpiklaani...yes... I understand what you mean... lots of people love them nevertheless... because they are easy...

You expressed my very thoughts. I very much agree with pretty much everything you say. Nonetheless there's few bands I appreciate that play with other instruments than typical metal instruments (guitar melody oriented) music like Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Turisas, even bands that rely heavily on keyboard (Partly Finntroll) pisses me off.... This isn't a black and white "rule" for me, as I think Moonsorrow is quite decent, so is the violin-playing in Ásmegin's first record etc.
Ernis - 25.02.2010 at 22:27  
Written by Skøllgrim on 25.02.2010 at 22:21

music like Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Turisas, even bands that rely heavily on keyboard (Partly Finntroll) pisses me off.... This isn't a black and white "rule" for me, as I think moonsorrow is quite decent, so is the violin-playing in Ásmegin's first record etc.

Of Eluveitie I like their songs in Gaulish and the antique melodies they use in some songs... their acoustic album had this (and it was not very popular among the FANS)... but now they're doing their usual "folk" gothenburg (with English lyrics and no acoustic elements nor other Celtic references) and the fans love it...
Skøllgrim - 25.02.2010 at 22:50  
Written by Ernis on 25.02.2010 at 22:27

Written by Skøllgrim on 25.02.2010 at 22:21

music like Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Turisas, even bands that rely heavily on keyboard (Partly Finntroll) pisses me off.... This isn't a black and white "rule" for me, as I think Moonsorrow is quite decent, so is the violin-playing in Ásmegin's first record etc...

Of Eluveitie I like their songs in Gaulish and the antique melodies they use in some songs... their acoustic album had this (and it was not very popular among the FANS)... but now they're doing their usual "folk" gothenburg (with English lyrics and no acoustic elements nor other Celtic references) and the fans love it...

I have not listened that much to (Eluveitie) to separate their albums all that much, but I've listened quick through it and seen them live once. Anyway, thank God music-taste variates ... Elvenking is another folk band I enjoy a lot!
I'm off to bed g'night! (I just noticed how off-topic this thread has gotten :O)
Marcus - 09.03.2010 at 22:16  
Written by Ernis on 25.02.2010 at 22:27

Written by Skøllgrim on 25.02.2010 at 22:21

music like Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Turisas, even bands that rely heavily on keyboard (Partly Finntroll) pisses me off.... This isn't a black and white "rule" for me, as I think moonsorrow is quite decent, so is the violin-playing in Ásmegin's first record etc.

Of Eluveitie I like their songs in Gaulish and the antique melodies they use in some songs... their acoustic album had this (and it was not very popular among the FANS)... but now they're doing their usual "folk" gothenburg (with English lyrics and no acoustic elements nor other Celtic references) and the fans love it...


Glad someone feels the same way that I do about Eluveitie, their strict folk music is actually very good, but I hate how they soil it with their gothenburg.
cjs675 - 14.05.2010 at 18:26  
I'm so impressed with this album, Tyr's blend of melody and power is a treat. Although I don't usually care for clean vocals, everything on this album just "works".

Lyrics are sincere and moving without being too Manowar-ish or pretentious, riffs are not overly simplistic but still great fun.

There are no bad songs on BTLOTNS, and if I absolutely had to pick a couple of favorites, "Into the Storm" and "By the Light of the Northern Star" would be contenders.
akvan - 05.09.2010 at 17:55  
I like 1st and 7th tracks of this album but other tracks ....
RavenKing - 05.09.2010 at 18:42  
Written by Ernis on 25.02.2010 at 22:13

True... that's what "folk" is for lots of people... just some average rock/metal with ENGLISH lyrics about "Pagan Pride/Fight for FREEDOM/Kill the Christians and/or Raise the BEER!/Drink more MEAD!/Let's hang around in VALHALLA!/I Masturbate thinking about Valkyrs!"

Folk elements are optional... it's ok to add some accordion and violins but it can be generic metal too... what matters are the lyrics (the cornier, the better) and the viking CLOTHES...


It is sad that in 90% of cases I only get some average metal band with cliché lyrics in ENGLISH and some folk colouring too which sadly disappears into the generic atmosphere...



That's how I see Folk Metal in general: generic (and often quite mediocre) barely-metal music for the masses with folk-ish instruments thrown in awkwardly, in a desperate hope to hide the mediocrity and genericness of guitars, bass and drums. Commercial shit that has little in common with metal.

And yes, cliched lyrics and image. It seems the more cliched and cheesy it is, the more popular it will be.

I think we're dealing with the same situation here than with so-called Symphonic Metal, where bands use overblown orchestral shit to try to hide the mediocrity and genericness of the metal part (guitars, bass and drums).
Aetherius - 06.09.2010 at 08:44  
I thought this was a great release. Good album , needs more credit
Luneth - 24.12.2010 at 23:46  
Into the Storm had me singing along to the chorus. Any song that can do that is epic xD
HeathenHeart - 03.07.2013 at 11:42  
Wow...most of the comments here are pathetic, clearly these reviewers are not true fans of Viking Metal. Anyway, this is probably my favorite Tyr album just because every song is intense and relevant. Compared to the album that follows, this album is true to their beliefs as Heathens; especially lyrically speaking. Very high-energy album with not too many slow-tempo songs. For alot of true Heathens such as myself, 'Hold the Heathen Hammer High' speaks to us and is arguably our anthem!

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Týr - By The Light Of The Northern Star 9 03.02.2010 by JÄY
Reviews Aesma Daeva - The Eros Of Frigid Beauty 6 03.09.2010 by Corpus
Reviews A Dream Of Poe - The Mirror Of Deliverance 6 10.03.2011 by !J.O.O.E.!
Reviews Pathfinder - Beyond The Space, Beyond The Time 6 31.08.2010 by Inlé
Reviews Tristania - Beyond The Veil 6 12.04.2008 by Katatronik



Hits total: 4547 | This month: 55