Týr (band)

Týr (Faroese: [tʰʊɪːɹ]) is a Faroese folk metal band.[1] They have been characterised as one of "the islands' two most successful metal bands".[2] Their subject matter revolves almost entirely around Viking lore, mythology, and history,[3] taking their name from Týr, the god of war in Norse religion.

Týr performing live at Wacken Open Air in August 2010
Týr performing live at Wacken Open Air in August 2010
Background information
OriginTórshavn, Faroe Islands
Years active1998–present
LabelsNapalm Records
Metal Blade Records (2012–present)
Associated actsHeljareyga, Dark Rune, Surma
MembersHeri Joensen
Gunnar H. Thomsen
Tadeusz Rieckmann
Attila Vörös
Past membersTerji Skibenæs
Jón Joensen
Pól Arni Holm
Allan Streymoy
Ottó P. Arnarson
Kári Streymoy
Amon Djurhuus


Before Týr, Heri Joensen and Gunnar H. Thomsen formed their first band, Cruiser, at the age of seventeen. Streymoy also played with them for a short while. They later changed their name to Wolfgang. Although neither band released any albums, Wolfgang, who are still active, recorded an undisclosed number of songs that, according to Joensen, are "pretty much ready to release."[4]

Týr formed in Copenhagen in 1998.[5] Heri Joensen met his old bandmate, Kári Streymoy, at a party in January in Copenhagen. Joensen suggested to Streymoy that they should meet up and jam. Streymoy initially declined, but later took him up on his offer. They were soon joined by another former bandmate, bassist Gunnar H. Thomsen, expanding the duo into a trio. In 2001, guitarist Terji Skibenæs joined the band.

They signed a worldwide deal with Austria's Napalm Records in early 2006, while signed to the Faroese record label Tutl. In September 2012, they signed a three-album deal with Metal Blade Records.[5]

They began making music which was heavily inspired by Norse mythology, kvæði (Faroese traditional music), and heavy metal music in general. According to the band's frontman Heri Joensen:[6]

"Týr's musical mission is to break down the walls that are erected between all the kinds of metal that have arisen over the years. Power, doom, black, progressive, gothic, viking, folk, ethnic and epic metal. Walls and labels do nothing but fill people with prejudice."

— Heri Joensen

Accordingly, scholarship has found that the band's lyrics and imagery promote pan-Nordic ideologies, and draw on well established, transnational genre conventions from metal music; but has also suggested that the band's insistence on their Faroese identity, which has been fetishised by international audiences, could 'be regarded as a form of self-exoticisation'.[7] The band's handling of traditional songs is characterised by fidelity to traditional melodies, but more complex and innovative handling of associated chord progressions and harmonies.[8]

The band has been accused of promoting Nazi ideologies through their use of runes and other imagery appropriated by Nazis. The band responded to these accusations with the song "Shadow of the Swastika" on the album Lay of Thrym (2011), which in the assessment of Karl Spracklen, 'attacks the far-right for appropriating...heathen symbols and images associated with pre-Christian northern Europe'. Even so, scholars have, in the words of Catherine Hoad and Samuel Whiting, suggested that 'through imagining the Viking as an ancestral, genetic category, the "common past" of the Nordic people is constructed as a self-identity apart from other people' in the work of Týr.[9][10] Likewise, Spracklen finds that 'the themes in Týr's songs celebrate pagan identity, Viking identity and the hegemonic masculinity of the Viking warrior combined with the modern-day heavy metal anthem of being an individual'.[5]


Týr performing live in Bilston, Wolverhampton in October 2013

They performed at the Ragnarök Festival in 2007 and 2009.[11][12]

Týr was a part of the Paganfest tour in Europe and the U.S. in 2008, with Ensiferum headlining. Other bands on the tour included Eluveitie, Turisas in the United States, and Moonsorrow and Korpiklaani joined them on the European part of the tour.

In 2009, the band also took part in the "Black Sails over Europe" tour, supporting Alestorm, who were promoting their album Black Sails at Midnight.

Later, in 2010, the band would support Amon Amarth and Holy Grail on Amon Amarth's North American tour for select dates.

In January 2011 and 2013, Týr played on the "70,000 Tons of Metal" cruise ship event with 40 other bands.

In 2012, the band supported Korpiklaani on their "Manala" tour in the U.S. and Canada along with Metsatöll and Moonsorrow.

During April 2013, Týr joined Ensiferum, Heidevolk, and others for the North American leg of the Paganfest tour.

They took part in a European tour between 6 September – 14 October 2013 with Finnish folk metal band Finntroll and Icelandic band Skálmöld. The tour is called "Blodsvept over Europe".[13]

Band membersEdit

Terji Skibenæs at Metalmania 2007

Singer Pól Arni Holm and guitarist Jón Joensen (Heri Joensen's brother) were part of the band while they recorded How Far to Asgaard but left soon after its release.

Terji Skibenæs joined after Jón Joensen had left the band. Allan Streymoy (Kári Streymoy's brother) took over singing duties for a brief time during which they released the single "Ólavur Riddararós". After Allan left, Heri Joensen took over the vocals. It was this line up which recorded Eric the Red.

Skibenæs left the band for a while after the release of Eric the Red. The band played as a trio for some time. In the summer of 2004 they were joined by Icelandic guitarist Ottó P. Arnarson for a very brief time. When Arnarson left, Skibenæs came back.

Kári Streymoy had a back injury in January 2008, which made him unable to tour until October the same year. Amon Djurhuus, a Faeroese drummer and student of Kári Streymoy, played the drums on the European part of the Paganfest, Merlin Sutter from Eluveitie filled for him on the US part and Daniel Ryan from Gigan on the Canadian part. After that for the festival tour in Europe Amon Djurhuus filled for Kári again. In October 2008 Kári Streymoy was ready to go again for the Ragnarök's Aaskereia Festival Tour.

Týr announced on 12 May 2013 via their official website as well as their Facebook, Twitter and Myspace pages that they had parted ways with long-time drummer Kári Streymoy, owing to the back injury he had received in 2008 which had affected his drumming. On May 15, 2013, they announced that renowned metal drummer George Kollias will record drums for their seventh album Valkyrja. Amon Djurhuus enters temporarily in the band, once again, for the tour with Finntroll between September and October 2013.[14]

In August 2018, after 17 years with the band Terji Skibenæs announced his departure, stating "There's no drama or anything going on between me and the others. It's just me not having any joy to play the music in the style of TÝR anymore. I want to thank Heri Joensen and Gunnar Thomsen for the all the time we had and I wish TÝR all the best in the future."[15] The opening left by Skibenæs' exit was filled by former Nevermore and Satyricon guitarist Attila Vörös.[16]

Side projectsEdit

Current Týr lead singer, Heri Joensen, is working on a side project with the band Heljareyga. They released their self-titled debut album in 2010.[17] All lyrics on the album are in Faroese.[18] It was released first as a download on February 12, 2010 at digital retailers,[19] but CD copies came later available at Tutl Records.

Joensen also has the side project 'Surma' with his Czech girlfriend Viktorie Surmová. Their first album, Reveal the Light Within, is scheduled to be released on 1 November, 2020.[20]


Current membersEdit

  • Heri Joensen – guitars, lead vocals (1998–present)
  • Gunnar H. Thomsen – bass, backing vocals (1998–present)
  • Tadeusz Rieckmann – drums (2016–present)

Former membersEdit

  • Jón Joensen – lead vocals, guitars (1998–2000)
  • Pól Arni Holm – lead vocals (1998–2002)
  • Terji Skibenæs – guitars, backing vocals (2001–2018)
  • Attila Vörös – guitars (2018–2020)
  • Allan Streymoy – lead vocals (2002)
  • Ottó P. Arnarson – guitars (2004)
  • Kári Streymoy – drums (1998–2013)
  • Amon Djurhuus – drums (2014–2016)





Compilation albumsEdit

  • Tutl 25 ár – Live 2002 (contributed "Sand in the Wind") (2002) (Live)
  • The Realm of Napalm Records (CD/DVD) (On DVD, track No. 17 "Regin Smiður" and No. 18 "Hail to the Hammer") (On CD, track No. 13 "Regin Smiður") (2006)
  • Black Sails Over Europe (2009) (Split album with Alestorm and Heidevolk)


  • "Hail to the Hammer" (2002)
  • "Ormurin Langi" (2002)
  • "Regin Smiður" (2003)
  • "Sinklars Vísa" (2008)
  • "Hold the Heathen Hammer High" (2009)
  • "Flames of the Free" (2011)
  • "Blood of Heroes" (2013)
  • "The Lay of Our Love" (2014)
  • "Sunset Shore" (2019)
  • "Ragnars Kvæði" (2019)


  1. ^ "Týr - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. 2003-11-11. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  2. ^ Joshua Green, 'From the Faroes to the World Stage', in The Oxford Handbook of Popular Music in the Nordic Countries, ed. by Fabian Holt, Antti-Ville Kärjä (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 111-29 (p. 119); ISBN 9780190603908.
  3. ^ Færøsk Rock: Rock on the rocks Jyllands-Posten | 01.05.2001 | Kunst_og_Kultur | Side 10 | 1212 ord (portrait of the band)
  4. ^ Pre-Týr info is discussed in this Deadtide Interview
  5. ^ a b c Spracklen, Karl (2015). "'To Holmgard … and Beyond': Folk metal fantasies and hegemonic white masculinities". Metal Music Studies. 1 (3): 359–377 [368]. doi:10.1386/mms.1.3.359_1.
  6. ^ "Interview with Heri Joensen". The Metal Observer. March 2004. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  7. ^ Joshua Green, 'From the Faroes to the World Stage', in The Oxford Handbook of Popular Music in the Nordic Countries, ed. by Fabian Holt, Antti-Ville Kärjä (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 111-29 (p. 123-24); ISBN 9780190603908.
  8. ^ Mark David Deeks, 'National Identity in Northern and Eastern European Heavy Metal' (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds, 2016), pp. 163-66.
  9. ^ Hoad, Catherine; Whiting, Samuel (2017). "True Kvlt? The Cultural Capital of "Nordicness" in Extreme Metal". M/C Journal. 20 (6). doi:10.5204/mcj.1319.
  10. ^ Catherine Hoad, "'Hold the heathen hammer high': Viking metal from the local to the global", in Shifting Sounds: Musical Flow: A Collection of Papers from the 2012 IASPM Australia/New Zealand Conference, ed. by Oli Wilson and Sarah Attfield (Dunedin: International Association for the Study of Popular Music, 2013), pp. 62-70; ISBN 9780975774793.
  11. ^ "RAGNARÖK FESTIVAL - official homepage". Ragnaroek-festival.com. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  12. ^ "RAGNARÖK FESTIVAL - official homepage". Ragnaroek-festival.com. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Finntroll: announce "Blodsvept Over Europe Tour 2013"". Centurymedia.com. Century Media Records. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  14. ^ "TÝR recruits George Kollias to track drums". Metalblade.com. 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  15. ^ "Longtime TÝR Guitarist TERJI SKIBENÆS Exits Band". Blabbermouth.com. 2018-08-02. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  16. ^ "TÝR Recruits Former NEVERMORE Guitarist ATTILA VÖRÖS". Blabbermouth.com. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  17. ^ "Interviews". Metal-sound.net. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Heljareyga album update van Heljareyga op Myspace". Blogs.myspace.com. February 9, 2010. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "Download the new Heljareyga Album van Heljareyga op Myspace". Blogs.myspace.com. 2010-02-12. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  20. ^ "Reveal the Light Within CD". surma.band. 2020-09-08. Retrieved 2020-09-08.

External linksEdit