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Týr: Valkyrja

Faroese folk metal to swing all kinds of axe to

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.