Hail to the Faroese folk-metal Vikings!

From the twanging folk beginnings to when they let rip into the thundering bass and drums, you know from the start that TYR mean business. Blink, and you’d have missed the room suddenly fill almost to capacity, such is the enthusiasm for the veteran folk-metallers brand of war chants and drinking songs. And straight from the start there’s much striding atop of monitors, and “Skaal!”-ing before swigging their drinks. And the audience laps it (and their beer) up. The bar staff must be thrilled that this afternoon’s line-up guarantees them fantastic sales.

After a brief apology to Scotsmen in the audience for the lyric content (ironic, considering they’re on a non-stop tour with stage-mates Alestorm), they roar into their fantastic new song “Hold The Heathen Hammer High”, and the audience need no invitation to start waving and singing along gleefully. The place is starting to resemble a Middle Ages tavern, as drinks are sloshed and fists are waved aloft at random from within the solid mass of people.

What’s really stunning is the attention to detail; TYR really put on the whole show. It’s like a 100% more awesome version of those theatre shows that you send kids to that claim to entertain and to educate. There are little snippets of historical material between the songs. The band is in full armour (which gets discarded piece by piece as the room heats up), and there’s a good number of the crowd who have done likewise. Even the bar staff start headbanging when they think no one is looking.

Hitting just the right balance between songs and banter to keep the audience happy, singer Heri Joensen takes the opportunity to explain TYR’s philosophy, that mythology has its own value: “To claim that any one ideology contains the ultimate truth is idiocy. That means,” he adds with a knowing grin, “that religion is bullshit.” Heavy stuff for the time of day, but his statement was met with roars of approval from his listeners, especially when they discover that it leads into a storming version of ‘Hail To The Hammer’.

“Nobody leaves this place sober, ok?” Joensen adds, and it looks like the crowd and the band have taken that mission statement to heart. The last song of the night is an awesome version the universally popular ‘The Wild Rover’ that sends the crowd nuts. When the “Skaal!”-ing and cheering is done, it’s clear that TYR have finished at the all-conquering, armour-clad heroes.