The Lay of Thrym

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The Lay of Thrym, the sixth studio outing from Faroe Islands-based Viking metal outfit Tyr, rarely deviates from the tried and true Norse mythology-influenced themes of bloodlust, honor, and glory. Like Swedish counterparts Amon Amarth, the quartet builds each mini-epic from the scattered remains of old Scandinavian folk songs, but manages to transcend the "folk metal" tag through sheer volume, due in great part to the inventive guitar playing of Heri Joensen and Terji Skibenæs. Standout cuts like "Flames of the Free," "Fields of the Fallen," "Take Your Tyrant," and the rousing title track definitely fall into the armored fist-pumping category, but they avoid the clichéd power metal trappings of bands like Dragonforce and Rhapsody of Fire by doling out a bevy of sneaky time shifts, serpentine bridges, and complex vocal melodies that owe as much to an educated classical palate as they do a teenage diet of Iron Maiden, Dio, and Helloween records.

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