More melodic and diverse than "Headless Cross", but no less heavy, TYR reveals a more suitable musical setting for Tony Martin's strong melodic vocals and is a refreshing diversion from the "Satan" overkill of it's predecessor.
The musical tapestries here are more dense, more textured, and more varied--with one extreme being the doomy metallic bludgeon of 'Sabbath Stones' and the beautiful, melancholy acoustic guitar/vocal interlude of "Odin's Court" being the other.
And, again unlike TYR's predecessor, the phantom of commerciality rears its head on the bouncy-yet-heavy tracks 'The Lawmaker' and the irritatingly catchy 'Jerusalem', although the balladish 'Feels Good to Me' actually won the coin toss for airplay. But even with these uptempo sing-along tunes present, TYR never sinks to the level of gratuitous pop, a credit to Tony Iommi's compositional skills. On the contrary, even the catchiest numbers are quite heavy and worthy of the Black Sabbath name.
The lyrical topics span the globe on TYR, yet the album's centerpiece is the trilogy: 'The Battle of Tyr/Odin's Court/Valhalla', which draw inspiration from Norse mythology--a very suitable subject for heavy metal. Perhaps this album gave birth to the current "Viking Metal" genre.
Cozy Powell still pounds the skins in his own mammoth style here, yet the primary focus on this album seems to be the vocals. Tony Martin really shines throughout as his clean voice is more appropriately placed in the melodic environment which permeates TYR, especially on the aforementioned "Odin's Court".
I'd officially give this 3.75 stars, but round up for Tony Martin actually sounding like he belongs on a Sabbath record.