I first discovered TÝR upon watching the music video for ‘Regin Smiður’ (track 2) and I was instantly hooked. TÝR is possibly the finest in Viking/folk metal out there, as they not only deliver excellent musicianship and beautiful melodies with crushing metal riffs, but they aren’t below mixing jazz and classical elements into their music (examples: ‘Eric the Red’, intro to ‘Rainbow Warrior’).
TÝR is a refreshing change from the tradition of European bands who sing exclusively in English – some of the songs are Færoese, with one in Danish. Keeping in mind their heritage, TÝR has updated some old folk songs (‘Ramund Hin Unge’, ‘The Wild Rover’, ‘Stýrisvølurin’) and given them a progressive metal makeover, so to speak. If Dream Theater wore chainmail and drank mead, they would probably turn into TÝR. ‘Eric the Red’ has a good measure of time signature changes, odd meters, and instrumental technicality, but nothing that detracts from its base in Viking lore. It’s definitely a hard-hitting metal album, so prepare to be rocked!
‘Eric the Red’ is definitely a change from ‘How Far to Asgaard’ in that the songs on ‘EtR’ have a much faster pace, and the overall sound quality is greatly improved. There’s no single outstanding track, as each one has parts that really stand out. This album is a must-buy for anyone who loves metal, Scandinavian lore, or just an album with a sense of adventure.