Genre: Progressive/Folk Metal
Country: Faroe Islands
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year: 2019

The term ‘viking metal’ seems even more misleading than ‘female fronted’. It refers to the lyrics and the overall aistherics/themes that come along and gives as a hint about the musical part. There’s a reason why I started the current exposition in this particular manner, because at times you’ll see Týr referred to as viking metal. The band actually has my unreserved liking just because they come from the Faroe Islands, making them the ultimate outsider. There, tradition and circumstances usually intend people for being fishermen, so it’s a big deal for someone to break out of the mold and create a metal band that has in fact succeeded outside the narrow bounds of the Islands. Since 1998 they seem very consistent in their efforts with “Hel” being their 8th finished work. They also seem keen to not stray from any previous successful formulation. The kind of folk metal that is far from any ‘festivity’ that is common amongst other folk metal bands of the recent years. More metallic and even more guitar based, it makes the band digestable even for fans that prefer the classics. Besides, their music is not based in any other-worldly instruments and at times they don’t hesitate to bring to the table some progressive structures. However, Hel’s Achilles’ heel as well as some of their previous work is the final length; which means that 13 songs that last up to 70 minutes may tire the listener, especially if this is his/her first exposure to the band. So, upon hearing it is almost standard to feel that musicality has slackened or that all the songs don’t stand as tall. Overall, we’re dealing with a decent album that brings Týr back to life for all the right reasons. Their fans should be, for the most part, pretty satisfied with this album.

4/6