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Hail to the Hammer! - 73%

ponyovdoom, July 8th, 2011

Going back in time to the first years of Týr, back when Heri Joensen was the only guitarist and a guy namd "Pól Arni Holm" was singing. Since then, Pól left, Terji Skibenæs joined as second guitarist, and Heri Joensen took over the lead vocals as well.

So, How far to Asgaard. This album is very different from the other ones, it actually has a doom metal approach as you are introducted with in the first song "Hail to the Hammer". This track is a nice tribute, or even anthem, to the dear hammer, it's a slowtempo song, sounding like a interlude to something big coming on, some choirs are heard also.
The vocals are clean, and not far from what Heri Joensen sounds like, they are more cheesy and soft perhaps and not as melodic as Heris. But Pól is doing a good job. This was in fact the first record I ever heard from Týr, so I had to get used to Heris vocals on Eric the Red in the beginning.

The doom is present once again in Excavation, with some more mighty drums, but still some doom-kinda riffs and a nice solo also. Gunnars bass is audible at times on this record where it's not on the other records. The bass can be heard along some nice tapping from Heri in the intro part of the song, "The Rune" for instance. Which is a beautiful song, the verse is slow with ambient guitars along the silent bass and then Póls great vocals. This track is probably my favorite of the album, with the picture of myself sitting on a clfif on the Faroe Islands looking across the horizon into the endless sea. However, the song also changes into some more aggressive parts, that's mostly vocal wise. There is no such thing as blastbeats or anything here, the album still manages to keep this doom-like sound, which is still awesome.

Of course, the album also has some less interesting ways to put it that way. A song like "Ten Wild Dogs" has a gloomy sound to it, or maybe I would just call it weird? The sound is more tight here, like if it was putted in a bottle. The guitar work is pretty weird, with some low note tapping kinda of stuff, it's hard to hear what is exactly going on with the guitar I must admit. The vocals are recorded in a more dark way here, they do not sound exactly clean in their production. And to mention the production, overall on the album, it's good. The bass can be heard in "Ten Wild Dogs" also, to mention that. The drumming can easily be heard, there is no raw production, and the drumming is doomish, but not really anything special. The guitar and vocals are clear, so all in all I have no complaints about the production.

The guitar playing on the album varies from having cheesy sounds, cute to even call it that, as heard on the first minut of "God of War" before switching into some heavy stuff. And as mention in "Ten Wild Dogs", there is some damn weird effects going on with some low note tapping stuff. The guitar is pretty thick in the general riffing. But I consider the guitar playing on this album the highlight along the awesome vocals. The bass is nice to hear I must admit though, and there are some good basslines.

All in all, this album is pretty good, if you are a Týr fan, you should check it out, but do not expect it to sound like the other releases at all. If you are new to Týr and want to check them out you might go for another album to hear what they really are all about now. This album is a fun little experience, some songs are really good while others are a bit.. Meh. Anyway, Hail to the Hammer!