Tyrant - _Under the Dark Mystic Sky_
by: Brian Meloon (
This is high quality Scandinavian-style black metal from Japan. The music is similar to an aggressive version of Arcturus' _Aspera Hiems Symfonia_. It has a neo-classical feel to it, mostly due to the keyboards, which are very well-played and show good diversity. They don't overpower the rest of the band, but alternately drive the music and act as accompanyment. The playing is competent, but not flashy. There are a few guitar solos thrown in here and there for good measure. Although they aren't as well done as the rest of the album, they do provide a nice change of pace. The music varies from fast to midpaced, and the songs show a fair amount of diversity. The production is excellent as well: slightly raw, but fitting the music's brutal edge. The vocals are typical raspy black metal style, with some (mostly male) clean vocals. The clean vocals could be better, but usually function adequately. This is a fine black metal album, suitable for those seeking a mix of aggression and artistry.
(article published 7/6/1998)
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