Tyrants Blood [Canada]
My interest in Tyrants Blood has once again been sparked with the recent encounter with their latest album, Into the Kingdom of Graves, perhaps their most polished and technical release to date. In keeping with the hype generated over the band with their new album, Tridroid Records, which handled the vinyl release of Into the Kingdom of Graves, has compiled a release with material from the band’s first two full length records and EP, hand-picked by none other than band mastermind and ex-Blasphemy guitarist, Marco Banco.
The album starts off with tracks off their second full length, Crushing Onward into Oblivion with Slaine: The Berzerker, and a suitable start to an album that traverses the discography of Tyrants Blood it is indeed. The onslaught that Tyrants Blood presents is relentless, and the riffs of Marco and Tom on the track hit the listener like a wall of noise. Along with the chaos that is unfurled by drummer Matt, one is quickly reminded of other bestial, Canadian war metal bands such as Conqueror and to a lesser extent, Revenge, and of course, Blasphemy though Tyrants Blood would obviously take a different path as one would soon come to notice. The black metal aesthetics though, are rather reminiscent of bands like Black Witchery.
However, as one realises soon enough, the songwriting style of Tyrants Blood, especially on material off Crushing Onward into Oblivion, takes a somewhat different approach, and often Marco tends to insert calmer and more melodic segments with his soaring and at times retrospective lead guitars, contrasting the chaos that the band presents, leaving one with some space to breathe in the path of destruction created by the band. While this may not seem to work for fans of the more aggressive Ross Bay style of war metal, the contrast and balance between melody and chaos certainly made Tyrants Blood a more interesting band to me (a style that they further expanded on with Into the Kingdom of Graves).
With the tracks being arranged in a reverse chronological order, things get more bestial towards the end of the record, with Coven ultimately concluding with Deceiver, a fitting way to end the record with a bang.
Of course, with Coven containing songs from the band’s discography being handpicked by Marco himself, things cannot go wrong as there is a nice balance of songs spanning the band’s career, and the whole range of styles that the band has been through since the start.