It’s Thursday, and I’m taking any excuse I can to listen to a bunch of Viking metal. Wouldn’t you? Continue reading
Let me admit a few things right off the bat: I am a long-time Týr fangirl. I have seen this band in five states and two countries. I have racked up almost 2,000 Last.fm scrobbles in their name. When I got Valkyrja in my inbox, I was actually a little bit worried to listen to it. I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern when it comes to Týr releases — I’m not overly fond of a new album when it comes out, but I love it by the time the next album is released. Land was alright until By The Light Of The Northern Star came out, at which point it became awesome. Here I was, worrying that Valkyrja would just give me a ladyboner for The Lay Of Thrym, not taking into account that I’d grown to love that album already.
If you love Týr even half as much as I do, Valkyrja will be a welcome addition to your folk metal collection. Each track is brimming with life, thanks in part to drummer George Kollias’s performance on the recording. Of course, this is not to say that former drummer Kári Streymoy’s performances were without life, only that Kollias brings a different sort of energy to the table that meshes surprisingly well with the rest of the band. Even slower tracks like the traditional “Grindavísan” feel quite lively and upbeat with Kollias backing them.
One track that really surprised me was “The Lay Of Our Love,” the obligatory lady-vocalled ballad that all folk metal albums seem to have these days. I suppose I was expecting something along the lines of “Celestial Bond,” an odious track on Ensiferum’s Unsung Heroes. There are a few key differences there though, the major one being that guest vocalist Liv Kristine (of Leaves’ Eyes) has more talent than Laura Dziadulewicz and the other being that Heri Joensen accompanies her. A post-Asgaard Týr song without the always-delightful Joensen on vocals is like peanut butter without jelly.
Valkyrja has no low points, and the songs can be divided into two categories — “Songs I Love” and “Songs I Absolutely Love.” “Hel Hath No Fury,” which sounds like it could be a B-side to any album released by Týr in the past seven years, falls into the former category. Of course it’s great, but it’s a greatness I’ve come to expect and therefore it doesn’t necessarily wow me. “Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð” and “Lady Of The Slain,” on the other hand, are jaw-droppingly intense, gorgeous, and brand new. Naturally, none of my favoritest favorites have been released as singles yet, so you’ll have to wait until Valkyrja‘s mid-September release to experience the album’s full glory. It’ll be worth the wait, trust me. The cherry on top of the delicious Valkyrja sundae is “Cemetery Gates,” a Pantera cover that showcases Heri Joensen’s versatility — much, much better than the awkward cover of Black Sabbath’s “I” on The Lay Of Thrym.
I tried to find nits to pick, folks — I really did! — but there just aren’t any. Maybe there was one second of one song that didn’t fill my heart with unadulterated glee? Damned if I can find it though. (10 / 10)
Order the album here: http://metalblade.com/tyr/
Get a sneak preview of Týr’s upcoming Valkyrja album on MetalInsider.net, where “Mare Of My Night” is currently streaming! I am thoroughly embarrassed to admit that I only just now got the “nightmare” reference after reading frontman Heri Joensen’s explanation of the song:
It’s based on the mare from folklore, the human-like creature that lies on top of you, riding you, causing bad dreams. As in nightmare, riding like a mare etc. Our anonymous viking, the protagonist of the story, finds in this song that his earthly woman has gone from being a goddess to being nightmare.
Valkyrja is a concept album with a story line based loosely around an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his woman and goes off to impress the Valkyrie on the battlefield so that she may bring him to Valhalla, or to Fólkvangr, the home of Freyja—the goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, sorcery, war, and death. Folk metal at its finest!
The album, which will be the first not to feature former drummer Kári Streymoy, will be released in North America on September 17 and September 13/16 in Europe/UK, via Metal Blade Records. Pre-order it here!
Unlike most of my Hails, I didn’t see Hamferð at a local show and I didn’t hear about them through a friend or the internet. I just happened to run into a member during my travels in Helsinki. After the Tuska Festival had ended, I spent the majority of the night hanging out with an awesome group of Faroese people, including guitarist Theodor Kapnas. He told me that he was in a band, let me know the name (hard to remember, considering the Faroese-ness of the name and my blood alcohol level), and I told him I’d look them up. The rest was history.
Hamferð is a doom metal band signed to the Tutl label, where bands like Týr got their start. They were formed in 2008, and according to their Facecbook bio, their name is a Faroese term for “the living images of sailors appearing before their loved ones.” Sailor ghosts are pretty metal, and so is Hamferð. They’ve already experienced quite a bit of local success, winning a few Battle of the Band-esque competitions in the Faroe Islands and even opening for Moonsorrow and Týr on a European tour in 2011.
Right now, the band is working on their first full-length album, but you can still check them out on YouTube. Here’s one of their incredibly awesomely doomy songs — it’s called “Vráin.”
Folk/Viking metal band Týr are in the studio again, following drummer Kári Streymoy’s exit, and they’ve recruited George Kollias to record with them. Kollias, best known for his work with Nile, has also drummed with Nightfall, Cerebrum, and Sickening Horror. Týr have been in the studio for the past two weeks recording an as-of-yet unnamed seventh full-length album, due for release this fall through Metal Blade Records.
You can see a video of Kollias tracking drums on Metal Blade Records’s YouTube Channel or, naturally, below. More studio news soon to come!
Earlier today, folk metal band Týr announced that they and drummer Kári Streymoy have split. Streymoy had been in the band for 15 years, but experienced back problems that sidelined him for much of 2008 and ultimately led to his departure from the band. Týr’s official statement reads as follows:
We regret to inform you that Kári Streymoy and the rest of the band have parted ways.
Kári suffered a back injury in 2008, and since then he has had some issues with his drumming. That is the main reason that the co-operation has been problematic for some time now, and we finally decided to part ways.
We want to thank Kári for his time in the band. It’s been great to have you with us, we wish you the best of luck in the future and we hope you recover fully some day.
More details to follow on who we got to fill in for Kári in studio. I think most of you are in for a big surprise.
Heri, Terji & Gunnar
News of Streymoy’s departure comes less than a week after their Paganfest partners Heidevolk’s announcement that vocalist Joris den Boghtdrincker had left. Insert wild speculation about Trollfest, Ensiferum, and Helsott here.
Check out a clip from Streymoy’s last performance with Týr below:
Gramercy Theater (September 22, 2012)
As if the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival lineup wasn’t already brilliant, promoters have confirmed that D.R.I. and Job For A Cowboy have been added to the bill! Three-day passes for the 15th annual event are still available, in addition to a multitude of other options:
Thursday, April 18th – Kick Off Party – $12 In Advance/$15 Day-Of: HERE
Friday, April 19th: $35 In Advance/$40 Day-Of: HERE
Saturday, April 20th: $40 In Advance/$45 Day-Of: HERE
Sunday, April 21st: $35 In Advance/$40 Day-Of: HERE
VIP Three-Day Package: HERE — link includes details
VIP One-Day Pass: HERE — link includes details
NEMHF has also partnered with F.Y.E. to offer a VIP Flyaway package for the event! One lucky winner will get two VIP passes to the festival as well as airfare and hotel accommodations. Enter the contest here!
The current lineup for NEMHF is as follows (sans the two most recent additions):
Friday, April 19th: Anthrax, Hatebreed, Shadows Fall, Exodus, Municipal Waste, Black Breath, Holy Grail, VYGR, Multilation Rites, Trap Them, Death Before Dishonor, Xibalba, The Mongoloids, Power Trip, Expire, Twitching Tongues, Allegaeon, Suburban Scum, Rude Awakening, The Greenery, Disgrace, Antagonist AD, The Greenery, Battlecross
Saturday, April 20th: Opeth, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Katatonia, Trollfest, Tyr, Hellsot, Heidevolk, Ensiferum, Alpha & Omega, Born of Osiris, After The Burial, Dead By Wednesday, The Contortionist, Legion, Erra, Fit For An Autopsy, Born Low, MurderDeathKill, Sworn In, Reflections, Mouth of the South, Ark of the Covenant, Those Who Fear, Saving Grace, Years Since The Storm, Mouth of the South, King 810
Sunday, April 21st: Suicidal Tendencies, Miss May I, Texas In July, Trapped Under Ice, Glass Cloud, Your Memorial, No Mercy, I Declare War, Foundation, Remembering Never, Bracewar, Mother of Mercy, Agitator, Incendiary, Thick As Blood, Dark Sermon, To The Wind