Live at The Wiltern Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
August 17th, 2019
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
TÝR brand themselves as a folk metal collective pulling in aspects of progressive and classic heavy metal. They hail from the Faroe Islands and maintain a unique sound and image amongst the ever growing folk metal field.
Utilizing their native tongue and harmonized vocals to maximum effect, they transcend both modern and ancient song structures, impacting the listener with their melodic yet heavy take on the genre.
Focused around chief song writer, guitarist, and vocalist Heri Joensen, TÝR have been very prolific in their nearly twenty year existence. Earlier this year saw the release of their eighth studio album, "Hel".
Joining Heri is his long-time conspirator and fellow band founder, Gunnar H. Thomsen on bass guitar and backing vocals. Additionally two relative new comers to the band round out the roster with Tadeusz Rieckmann on drums and Attila Vörös on guitar.
TÝR land their Viking ships on North American soil once more to lay waste to audiences hungry for heavy metal mayhem, and on this occasion have teamed up with the amazing power metal legends Demons & Wizards and label-mates Lizzy Borden to do so.
It was an early show but the massive Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles was already filling up as the band took to the stage. This is my seventh time seeing TÝR so you could say I am definitely a fan and I was excited to see some of the new songs live.
The set list had a good range of material mixed in so TÝR fans old and new got a lot to make them happy. The did some of my old favorites like "The Lay of Thrym", and "By the Sword in My Hand" (which had everyone singing along, decimating and decapitating as it were), as well as new ones like "Gates of Hel" and "Sunset Shore" from their latest album.
Songs performed in their native tongue like "Ragnars Kvæði" and "Grindavísan" really set them apart from all their peers and resonate deep within the psyche of the audience as they absorb the harmonies and intonations even if they can't decipher the words.
TÝR have several very special songs which all pertain to a powerful instrument: the hammer. On headlining gigs we sometimes get to hear more than one but I would be sad if we did not get at least one of these anthems on this occasion.
TÝR did not let us down, choosing the faster and more recent of the hammer-songs to end their set. "Hold the Heathen Hammer High" rang out as their final piece for this first stop on the tour, and left everyone in the audience amped up for the rest of the evening.
I absolutely love TÝR and look forward to them coming through again promoting this album with a longer set time. They absolutely maximized the time they did have tonight and hopefully gained a number of new followers with being part of such an amazing event with Demons & Wizards.
I just have to add one last item in regards to the band; this is the first tour I have seen with Atilla on guitars and while he did a great job, I have to say that long-time guitarist and backing vocal talent, Terji Skibenæs is sorely missed as a part of their presence.
For seventeen years Terji had been a part of TÝR and played on every tour of the six prior that I can recall. His vocals mixed perfectly with Heri and Gunnar's, especially on the songs in Faroese. Everyone must move on and find their own way, but I'm holding a glass on high in cheers to his efforts on this great project for so long.... may he enjoy the Sunset Shore.
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