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Týr

Based in the Faroes, a group of islands located between Iceland and Norway that has been an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948, Týr is a progressive folk/Viking metal outfit that records and performs in both English and in their native Faroese language. Taking their name from the Norse God of law, justice, the sky, war, and heroic glory, Týr elicited international acclaim for their 2003 sophomore effort Eric the Red. Subsequent efforts like Ragnarok (20006), By the Light of the Northern Star (2009), Valkyrja (2013), Hel (2019), and Battle Ballads (2024) continued to find favor with metal audiences at home and abroad, while the 2022 concert LP A Night at the Nordic House provided fans with a dazzling display of the group's technical prowess. The band formed in 1998 in Denmark around the talents of Heri Joensen, Kári Streymoy, and Gunnar H. Thomsen. Joensen's brother Jón and singer Pól Arni Holm joined the group for its 2002 debut How Far to Asgaard, which offered not only wildly original interpretations of folk songs but also a ten-minute period of silence followed by the Faroese poem "Nornagest Ríma" chanted by the band with stomping feet as a rhythm section. New guitarist Terji Skibenæs replaced Jón and Streymoy's brother Allan took over vocal duties on the single Ólavur Riddararós. After Allan's departure, Heri took over lead vocal duties and the band began work on its breakthrough song cycle, Eric the Red. Inspired heavily by Norse mythology, Eric the Red was originally released in 2003 on the regional Tutl label but found international success when it was reissued by European giant Napalm. The acclaimed Ragnarok, their official Napalm debut, was issued in 2006 and contained 16 epic yarns about the destruction of the cosmos and the gods. 2008's Land and 2009's By the Light of the Northern Star helped earn the group accolades for its complex arrangements and keen ear for traditional Scandinavian-infused melody. 2011's The Lay of Thrym took its title from one of the most quoted and enduring poems in the Norse Poetic Edda canon and offered a tribute to Ronnie James Dio (who had passed the year before) with bonus tracks that included Black Sabbath's "I" and Rainbow's "Stargazer." It proved to be their final album with drummer Kári Streymoy, who had suffered a severe back injury while on tour in 2008. He was replaced by drummer Georgios "George" Kollias for the band's Metal Blade debut Valkyrja in 2013, though former kitman Amon Djurhuus filled in for the world tour and was ultimately replaced by permanent drummer Tadeusz Rieckmann in 2016. In the summer of 2018, just prior to entering the studio to record, longtime guitarist Terji Skibenæs announced he was leaving Týr. His final recording with the band, Hel, was issued in March of 2019 and showed a marked turn toward melodic folk-metal. Skibenæs was replaced on the tour by Satyricon axeman Attila Vörös. In 2022 the band issued their first live album, A Night at the Nordic House, which was recorded at the venue of the same name in Tórshavn with a full orchestra. Battle Ballads, another mead-pounding collection of epic progressive folk-metal, was released in 2024. The band promoted the LP with its first North American tour since 2019.
© James Christopher Monger /TiVo

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