Sunday, July 10, 2011

Metal and Water

I picked up a Rhapsody of Fire e.p. today and in the course of looking them up on teh Interwebs, I came across a favourable review of the new album which is released here Tuesday.  This same reviewer ("Angry Metal Guy") also had a lot of good things to say about the new album "The Lay of Thrym", by the Viking metal band Tyr, who hail from the Faroe Islands.

Well, I've been listening to a whackload of Tyr music via YouTube for much of the afternoon, and will be grabbing that album at the next opportunity.  Well done folk-metal, nice mix of progression and aggression, and clear powerful vocals with occasional harmonies; it's a good fit for me.  I also appreciate the cheekiness of lyrics like these from "Shadow of the Swastika":
You who think the hue of your hide means you are to blame
And your father's misdeeds are his son's to carry in shame
Not mine I'll take no part
You can shove the sins of the your father where no light may pass
And kiss my Scandinavian ass

This in turn got me to whimsically thinking about visiting the Faroe Islands, smack in the middle of a triangle betwixt Scotland, Iceland and Norway. Neat little place that the British occupied during WWII to keep the Hun at bay.  They are technically a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark, but also have ties to Britain since WWII, which apparently manifests itself in odd little things, like the presence of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars in the shops, as you don't often find these in Denmark.

The Faroe Islands have a couple of different music festivals in the summer and a diverse spiritual history that includes both pagan and Christian elements.  If I should ever find myself in Ireland or Scotland in the future, I would love to pop over and check this place out, something that never would have ocurred to me prior to stumbling across a band barely known in North America.  Metal-driven tourism, who'd have thunk it, huh?

Well, it turns out some enterprising soul has, because I noted that Tyr was one of the artists involved in something called "70,000 Tons of Metal" , a Caribbean cruise that featured something like 40 heavy metal bands, including a few I quite like, such as Blind Guardian, Sonata Arctica, and now Tyr, as well as some others I have at least heard of, like Epica and Gamma Ray.

They have a second cruise scheduled for next January that I don't see any hope of getting to barring a lotto jackpot, but I can't help but be intrigued by the premise, and tip my helm to the creative and enterprising people who found an intriguing way to make cruise ships a potential vacation for a somewhat unexpected demographic!

Especially when getting that many people with an affinity to Vikings on any sort of boat might seem counter-intuitive...

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