Týr: Valkyrja

Faroese folk metal to swing all kinds of axe to

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For some, Týr will always play second fiddle to the likes of Turisas, Finntroll and Korpiklaani but with these folk metal-meisters settling into their requisite niche (gutsy battle songs, playful gravel-throated eulogies, pissed-up jigs) there’s an opportunity for them to grab the limelight, not least because they don’t come from Finland.

In fact these Faroe Islanders have always been a bit left of centre with their shred-led tunes about the battlefield. Moving away from the grandiose Ragnarok of 2006, which swelled with seismic instrumentals, Týr have plumbed for a chunky rendition of Blind Guardian-does-Metallica, with the focus firmly on guitar rather than accordion, bagpipe, fiddle or whatever antiquated gadget their peers can pluck from their musical sack.

Based “loosely” on the tale of a Viking warrior, Valkyrja boasts all the best things about folk metal: the 100mph gallop on Lady Of The Slain, a unifying chorus on the title track and epic storytelling throughout – but this album really pulls up its socks when it comes to the six-string, in particular Mare Of My Night, which will have you ditching your ‘air’ sword for an air guitar.