Tyr – Land

Tyr has never been well received in mainstream circles, and that’s not surprising, line-up changes have seen three distinct vocalists since 2002’s “How Far to Asgaard”.

“Land” is indicative of the band’s heritage and this is evident in the impact of Icelandic and Faroese traditional music in a number of the tracks. There is also a large historical element.

Opening track ‘Gandksvaedi Tróndar’ is a traditional Faroese song written by poet J.H.O. Djurhuus. Djurhuus’s work features again on the title track while the work of Icelandic bassist Björn S. Blöndal is included on the track ‘Brennivin’.

Perhaps only the most devout of Viking Metal fans will appreciate this album. It’s technical and it’s progressive in a heavy way. It’s a lot to digest, and it’s obvious this is a band doing its own thing.

Treat with caution.

Fear Factory – Transgression

Working with a more progressive sound, Transgression is a rock album, full of melody, energy and hungry riffs. The production of the album is thinner and more human than before.

It starts off like a Fear Factory record, the thundering “540,000° Fahrenheit” and “Spinal Compression” ensures that classic feeling but as time goes on it feels like FF have gone soft? The album feels more like an Alice in Chains release, considering there’s an appearance from Billy Gould and even a U2 cover, the proof is in the pudding!

With two defining albums under their belt, Fear Factory has nothing to prove at this stage of their career, and trying new things should be commended. But if you know a dedicated fan I’d prepare some smelling salts for a shock.

See You Next Tuesday – Intervals

Having survived the fabled first album jitters, SYNT launch ‘Intervals’, an album which initially sounds like someone shouting over a drum kit!

The heaviness is one of the most appealing things about this album, with songs like ‘Dedication to a New Era’ and ‘January & On’ screaming aggression and angst. Throughout you get a mixture of fast, mid and slow tempos; chances are you will have never heard anything like this before.

Tracks like ‘In The End’ imprint upon you. The guitar work is reminiscent of Slayer and the trash metal-esque ‘112207’ is the highlight giving way to the more experimentalist qualities. There’s no doubt SYNT will carve out a piece of the metal-core scene with this little gem, but it remains to be seen if they keep creating masterpieces like this.