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Album Reviews : Tyr – By The Light of the Northern Star

By on October 25, 2009

TYR_BTLOTNSMajestic vocals, technical proficiency, top production, huge originality – Tyr present us with a passionately performed album full of sincere Viking metal anthems.

Whilst one year might seem like too short a gap between albums, for Tyr I feel By The Light of the Northern Star couldn’t have come quick enough. Being a huge fan of the band I found that 2008’s Land left a lot to be desired, however in 2009 they are back with an excellent flowing album that has the potential to remain a classic release in years to come.

In contrast to Tyr’s brilliant Ragnarok album from 2006 that contained many filler tracks and interludes, they have ensured not to replicate themselves but rather create nine strikingly catchy tracks, all roughly 5mins in length, and put them together in a way that perfectly flows the album from start to finish with non-stop Viking courage.

Amidst the ever-growing folk metal scene, Tyr continue to stand apart from the pack with their originality and with the breathtaking vocals of Heri Joensen. They have stayed true to their sound and should make their homeland of the Faroe Islands proud with their successful attempt in creating a magnificent atmosphere to coincide their forefathers tales of old. The implementation of traditional Faroe music continues to work for them, as does the combination of both English and Faroe tongue.

Musically speaking, there is never any question in Tyr’s playing ability. The heavy guitars and shredding solos are still here, as well as the lovely sounding drumming style of Kari Streymoy. Some may argue that the lack of extremity (death or black metal styles) here may take away the merit of the way Viking metal should be played, but I believe that this band is full of everything that the genre was meant to represent, traditional and authentic.

As far as the standout tracks go, the title track does it for me hands down with its beautiful chorus and creative drum patterns. ‘Tróndur í Gøtu’ and ‘Turið Torkilsdóttir’ deliver touching vocal harmonies, ‘Into The Storm’ and ‘Hear The Heathen Call’ provide fast and memorable guitar riffs, and ‘Northern Gate’ and ‘Ride’ show the more folky side of Tyr. There are certainly no disappointing tracks.

I can understand Tyr being a band that you either love or hate, but I for one can’t recommend them enough, for fans of Viking Metal and also Prog. By The Light of the Northern Star is an album that will please old and new fans alike.


Band: Tyr
: By The Light of the Northern Star
: 2009
Genre: Progressive/Folk Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Origin: Runavik, Faroe Islands

Track Listing:
1. Hold The Heathen Hammer High
2. Tróndur í Gøtu
3. Into The Storm
4. Northern Gate
5. Turið Torkilsdóttir
6. By The Sword In My Hand
7. Ride
8. Hear The Heathen Call
9. By The Light Of The Northern Star
10. The Northern Lights (Bonus Track)
11. Anthem (Bonus Track)

Reviewed by Cabba


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.