Into the Kingdom of Graves
2013 Self Release
Took me quite a while to get my dirty mitts on this one. It was well worth the wait though. While it's not clear to me why Tyrants Blood released this album on their own, I'm glad they did. Doing so shows a lot of conviction and belief in what they're doing on their part. The cult Ross Bay sound lives on in Tyrants Blood, and in my mind, they're like the spiritual successor to Blasphemy... which in no way do I mean to take anything away from their own merits. It makes sense of course, as guitarist Marco Banco used to be part of that horde. He's pulled out all the stops here with the furious riffing. Drummer Matt Blood is kept on his toes, with all kinds of odd time changes. Some might find the drum tone a little odd, as there are times when they have a kind of "trashcan" sound. That's fine with me. It's good to hear a technical edge like his, combined with a more organic sound. I can't stand the flat, dry drum tone favored by most of the tech types these days. Brian Langley spews forth all kinds of vocal venom, coming across as a rabid Wendigo with his foot caught in a bear trap. Overall, there's a lot more dynamics going on here than you usually hear from bands in this subgenre. Most other bands of the "war metal" style tend to prefer blasting out an album, going at a non-stop high speed pace with little to no variation. Tyrants Blood prefer to mix things up a bit. There's a few places where I wish the guitars were a little higher in the mix, such as in the first half of "Conjure the Watcher." But that's all forgivable, for two reasons. First off, this type of metal has got to be a complete bitch to mix, and second... it's not meant to have a super-polished clean sound!