Review by Paul Castles
Kataklysm have been flying the Maple Leaf for Canadian death metal for a couple of decades now and other notable exponents of the genre from the Rockies include Gorguts and Cryptopsy. Tyrants Blood are eager to show they’re worthy of being mentioned in such exalted company and their third album Into the Kingdom of Graves suggests they are moving firmly in the right direction.
The title of their 2010 release Crushing Onward into Oblivion tells you something about the kind of shuddering sound this four-piece pump out and the latest self-release builds on that. Tyrants Blood proudly describe their output as ‘extreme speed metal’ and while not wrong that tag probably fails to recognise the level of savage sophistication to be found here. While full of bestial blasts and incendiary collisions there’s also some clearly defined technical mastery at work here which helps elevate Into the Kingdom of Graves above some less well executed death metal releases.
Opener ‘Spiral Sea’ is a tsunami of a track, the longest on the album and certainly one of the most barbaric. The rough, ready and raw rampage continues unabated into ‘Disowned and Defiled’ which features more dynamic drumming, thrash axe action and a gravel-coated vocal assault supplied by frontman Brian Langley. It’s fair to say Tyrants Blood don’t hang about, with foot firmly to the pedal most of the time ensuring a rabid rapid Canadian crash course.
‘Conjure the Watcher’ has a rasping mid track blastbeat break which would certainly see the pit transformed into a great sweating battlefield of arm waving, stomp crazy, diehards. Drummer Matt Blood (real name? Not sure but let’s hope so!) scarcely comes up for air throughout this 10-track bludgeoning beast. He must have biceps stretching from ear to ear judged by the relentless pounding and pressure he applies to his kit.
On twisted tracks such as ‘Destroyer’ and ‘Fragments of a Dying World’ Tyrants Blood really go for the jugular with a jagged edge attack that threatens to shed to the bone anything in its path. Marco Banco’s raucous riffs are great sweeping pounding giants that come down with the force of a hammer on an anvil, sending sparks flying in all directions. The one surprise element is the two-minute soft instrumental track which is completely out of sorts with the cranium crushing content to be found elsewhere. Why it’s there I’m not sure, perhaps even hardened death crews need a few minutes to clear their heads now and again.
After 120 seconds of heavenly harmonies the evil intent returns in the shape of ‘Decree of the Dead’, another pummeling power-fused number crawling with satanic symbolism and hellish war cries. Closing number is the title track which kicks in with one of the best riffs on the album which live would send every neck-crunching metalhead into serious overdrive. What follows is another twisted song of torment and torture that threatens to rip your heart from your chest muscles. If you’ve had a bad day and want to let off some steam then this dose of serious Vancouver violence will work wonders.
7 out of 10
- Spiral Sea
- Disowned and Defiled
- Revelations in Damnation
- Conjure the Watcher
- Fragments Of A Dying World
- Drowning In An Ocean of Fire
- Within Outer Scars
- Decree of the Dead
- Into the Kingdom of Graves