again were struck by another great album by these Faroese Norsemen, despite "viking metal" not being my first choice I must give a tip of the hat to this band which has held strong and true to their sound and their heritage. If one hasn't heard a Týr record before, I would not make this my first unless you can hit it with an open mind (and a little knowledge to the history of their ancestors).
By the album art and lyrical content of such driving, and powerful songs such as "Hold The Heathen Hammer
High" and the title track "By the Light of the Northern Star" one may clearly see a.. problem with Christianity, and an obvious clash against eastern takeover. As I said above, an open mind must be utilized. Sparsely touched on Norse
history tells tales of the genocide that was issued against them by the crusading Christian kings, creating a still very real disdain for the religion. This album takes hold thoroughly of the anger of ages and channels it through heavy riffs and the skillful and at times sky-piercing solos of band mates Heri and Terji.
Much like previous works by the band, this record contains a fair mixture of variety, ranging from the folk lyrical melodies of "Tróndur í Gøtu" and "Turið Torkilsdóttir", standing out as great representations of their people's past and the stories that were seldom put to paper but passed down by word of mouth and sometimes in song by bards. Then the listener is besieged by the powerful tracks of battle and conquest "Into The Storm
", "Northern Gate
", and "Ride", songs paying homage to their rich and ever resilient bloodline, honoring a people who met war with a smile and could be said that they lived for battle almost as closely as Spartans of legend did.
If one only listens to the sound of the music, (which there is nothing wrong with that of course) some of the songs pass by with their meaning and heart rather unnoticed. "By the Sword
in My Hand
" tells the aforementioned true tale of the slaughter laid upon the Norsemen by their conquerors, no matter what country you hail from you can almost fear the pain and anger in Heri's vocals, giving a true sense of meaning and realization to the anger that pulses through the veins of By The Light. It's hard for ones heart to not go out to the thousands slaughtered, but more so to the ones who lived, who's culture and way of life was nearly washed over. We can only thank bands such as Týr for keeping the old ways alive to a certain extent, or in the very least for keeping us entertained with tales of the past and rich lyrical content that takes us to an ancient world of warriors.
If one was lucky enough to nab the limited edition of this album you'll be delighted to hear two instrumentals "Northern Lights
" and "Anthem
", the latter being the Faroese National Anthem
and the first being an acoustic version of the chorus melody of The title track. Not as many bonus tracks as may be desired but all in all the album is a killer example of the bands talent and how much they have grown in the years. For any fan of Viking
inspired metal or Folk metal, or even Heavy Metal
this album is definitely a must have.
thumbs up for the best (and only) awesome Faroese band I know.