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Album Review: Týr – Hel

Tyr - Hel ReviewHailing from the remote landscapes of the Faroe Islands, Týr is one of the most revered acts when it comes to pagan-inspired metal. These true Vikings are masters at merging the aggressive edge of the genre, with epic melodies that seem to be surfacing from another place and time.

There is a unique sense of class and sophistication to their music, not only due to their unique compositional quirks but also because of their ability to set the bar higher and come up with diverse, inventive and innovative song arrangements.

Their most recent studio album, “Hel” is already been buzzed about as one of the band’s best works to date, and it’s easy to hear why. The melodies are truly spot-on, and what’s really special about this release is the constant and consistent attention to details. The mixes are technically very balanced, leaving room for each element to breathe. These songs are crowded, as you would expect. There are many different instruments, changing parts and more. For this reason, it’s easy to see why there is a need for consistency and clarity. Records like this one can easily run the risk of sounding like an absolute blur, but this is definitely not the case for “Hel.”

This album has a dynamic, pristine character, which combines lush, sophisticated structures, with the classic fury and unapologetic energy of metal.

Týr has been waiting about six years before releasing new music. This means that they truly took their time to perfect their vision for this album. The excitement around the album is nothing short of awesome, especially when considering the band’s dedicated following. True the years, Týr has achieved a cult status in the genre, with many avid fans who have been waiting for a new release eagerly and patiently for the last few years – in fact, for more than half a decade.

Now, it’s their time to finally enjoy some new music from one of their favorite bands, and their long wait will definitely be rewarded because this album is well worth it. This is the group’s eighth full-length studio album since their inception in the late 1990s, and Týr is back with their A-Game.

The intricate melodies and huge riffs fans have grown to love are still there, and so is their penchant for epic storytelling, ancestral folk tales, and Viking lore.

The band’s recently released single from the album, “Fire and Flame” is actually a perfect example. The song begins with a huge pattern of guitar riffs and unique leads, which tips the hat to the classic wave of British Heavy Metal, while retaining a classic Epic Metal vibe, especially in the verses, when things slow down a bit, and the vocals add a unique aura to the music. The choruses are a combination of catchy hooks and masterful guitar riffing, showcasing the band’s versatility and unique style.

What really makes this band special when compared with other acts in the genre, is that they do not try to hide behind gimmicks. It’s not about trying to recreate that “Viking” tone or dazzling the audience with cool outfits. It’s about the music, and they took it back to basics, making sure that all the essential elements int heir formula are still there, as powerful as ever.

The same goes for “Sunset Shore”, which has actually been released with a matching music video. The band’s guitar tones are absolutely spot on, with solid rhythm guitars and expressive leads, which truly jump out of the mix. The vocals are also very  balanced, with a lower tone that is not quite baritone yet, but definitely low in register enough to blend in with the instrumental, while soaring on top of it.

Fans of the band will be delighted with “Hel”, but this excellent album could also be an amazing opportunity for new fans to get to discover a fantastic band with a unique flavor.

This album features everything that made the band sound special in the first place. However, they took the time to further magnify those amazing elements, making for a unique, direct and intuitive song landscape, with classic metal vibes merging it with the huge sound of epic metal!

Hel Track List

1 Gates of Hel
2 All Heroes Fall
3 Ragnars Kvæði
4 Garmr
5 Sunset Shore
6 Downhill Drunk
7 Empire of the North
8 Far from the Worries of the World
9 King of Time
10 Fire and Flame
11 Against the Gods
12 Songs of War
13 Álvur Kongur

Release Date

March 8th 2019

Label

Metal Blade Records

Score

Overall - 8.8

8.8

Great

While it's been a long six years, good things comes to those who wait. Hel showcases some of Týrs best work yet.

Buy The Album
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