Review Summary: Hari and Company are yet to disappoint
I was fortunate enough to catch Tyr on the recent North American Pagan Fest tour. Opening for Ensifirum, the Faroe Island brigade truly stole the show that fine evening. A month later, a close friend of mine turned me onto Hari Joensen’s side project ‘Heljareyga’ after a local magazine advised that Tyr would be playing a headlining show one night only at local music hall. It was Christmas all over again when the news hit my desk. Unfortunately, when the date finally hit our calendar, the so-called Tyr act was merely a 14 year old dubstep DJ. The magazine in all its wisdom, had also mixed up the acts. Nonetheless, this little gem has eased the sting tremendously while I wait for the next, ACTUAL Tyr release/tour date.
‘Regnio’ opens with some excellent guitar play that builds with slow double pedal kicks ushering in vocalist Hari Joensen’s harmonic clean vocals. This recipe soars even higher with the Faroe language dominating the lyrical and vocal display on the entire album. Hari has truly mastered his delivery in this department by offering beautiful high and low pitches that augment nicely with the guitar delivery. While his delivery may seem a bit more varied with Tyr, his choral presentation makes this all the more gratifying, especially with the album clocking in around the fifty minute mark.
The title track opens with a similar, bouncing riff as the aforementioned builds ever slowly to a more dominating crescendo and slowly fades to progressive, technical melodies. The presence of calm beach fronts rolling across sand chime in with these signatures, giving way to a dismal storm brewing as guitars enter again with an even heavier, plodding dominance from John Ivar and Ken Johannesen. Relaxing, lower key vocal arrangements are signaled to augment the slow-moving aggression. This formula tends to bounce back and forth as dual vocal performances cut in and out with the time signatures.
This is, in all respects, progressive metal in its many leanings. While this can be queued as a negative or positive, Hari and the gang bring much more to the table and keep the listener thoroughly engaged rather than having them wait four plus minutes for something memorable to hit the table. The album tracks do tend to run together at times but the musical delivery is handled with such precision, you won’t really mind. Album closer ‘Vetrarbreytin’ leaves the listener with calming classic guitar lines queing in another epic ballad that is easily one of the best and varied tunes on the album.
This will come off as less direct as the latest Tyr offerings, but the musicianship is slightly ahead in the runnings; and knowing Tyr’s well-rounded craftsmanship, that’s saying a lot. Before jumping to any conclusions, let’s see what other tricks Hari and the gang have up their sleeves with new Tyr offering this year.