TYR - Ragnarok

Tyr - Ragnarok

16 songs
60:45 minutes
***** ***


Very often I feel extremely bored by heavy metal music, as there are too few bands that nowadays try to be innovative. Half a year ago, I was awestruck when Napalm Records re-released an earlier Tyr record. Eric The Red was a strange combination of Viking, melodic, power and progressive metal, and what made the album even more interesting was the fact that the band came from the Faroes. Therefore I was looking forward to their new album Ragnarok, and the tracklist made me expect something really grand. Unfortunately, if you cut intros, instrumentals and similar stuff, only eight songs and three quarters of an hour music remain. Not that that would be too short (many classics are even shorter), but it gives me the impression that I will always have to program my CD-player whenever I want to listen to Ragnarok.

Tyr are undeniably best when they play songs, because armed with such an excellent singer, who even often sings in his own Faroese language, you don't need to rely on instrumental works. From a songwriting point of view, there have been no remarkable improvements, but then Eric The Red was already such a perfect album that this could hardly be expected. Tracks like The Hammer Of Thor, Torsteins Kvaedi and The Hunt are still instant favourites, even though at times everything sounds a little derivative, as if they are cloning their own sound. But then AC/DC have been doing the same thing for more than thirty years and do we hear anyone complaining?

As most Viking metal these days is closely related to Nordic black metal aesthetics, Tyr seem to walk their very one way in a melodic style that is closer to Scandinavian Eighties melodic metal. The gloomy melodies, the deep sadness and the general beauty of the songs transform Ragnarok into a high above average album, but if Tyr want to get another ten point score on this page, they need to cut the surplus fat and present us with a songs-only album.

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