Avoiding the black metal trappings of bands like Enslaved, Tyr instead opts for arena-sized power metal riffs. Valkyrja is filled with majestic and galloping songs that are borderline patriotic in flavor.
Review by David Feltman
Tyr is kind of a sneaky band, tempting fans and critics to label it as Viking metal. But the band bears no resemblance to stereotypical Viking metal outside of the Norse-centric lyrical content. It might be more accurate to call it Nordic Folk metal, but that really doesn’t cover it either.
Avoiding the black metal trappings of bands like Enslaved, Tyr instead opts for arena-sized power metal riffs. Valkyrja is filled with majestic and galloping songs that are borderline patriotic in flavor. The band is willfully difficult to pigeonhole on the first of three albums for Metal Blade, one minute dropping Dethklok-approved licks on “Hel Hath No Fury” and the next transitioning into a soft and folky duet on “The Lay of Our Love.” The band even caps off the album with note-perfect covers of Iron Maiden’s “Where Eagles Dare” and Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates.” Why? Because fuck you, Tyr does what it wants.
But don’t get the idea that this album is some sonic potluck. Tonally, Valkyrja hangs together remarkably well, always maintaining an epic poem scope to the sound. Lyrics like, “If a battle was your demise, may come a night when you see she cries tears of red gold,” on “Lady of the Slain” provide rich and striking imagery. Tyr may not be as chaotic and brooding as other so-called Viking metal bands, but its music definitely puts one in the mood to pillage and plunder some peasants.