Tyrant - _Under the Dark Mystic Sky_
(Pulverised Records, 1998)
by: Alvin Wee (
And just when we thought Obtained Enslavement could afford to rest on their laurels with _Witchcraft_, Singaporean label Pulverised has once again dropped jaws with their latest signing and bonafide Japanese sensation Tyrant. Not to be confused with the 80s metal legends, this Oriental quartet deceptively oozes retro-thrash spirit; dishing up instead a most hauntingly beautiful form of black metal art. It's futile to try to describe _UtDMS_ without making it sound like the next Covenant album, but that's what it is, and more. Stripped of the sickly sweet keyboard passages, Covenant and Co. end up a boring, disoriented mess; Tyrant, on the other hand, remain musically solid, combining highly melodic black-metal leads with almost thrashy, hard-hitting riffs. Beneath the swathes of symphonics lies a blazing, ferocious black metal heaviness that the luscious melodies only add depth to. Each song flows smoothly and effortlessly, with no hint of awkward riff or misplaced beat marring the stellar musicianship. Sweet-faced female keyboardist Ayumi boldly spits in the faces of would-be BM-misogynists with "Ghost Waltz", boasting some of the most memorable melodies on the album. Which brings us to the most excellent lead guitar work adorning each track, of a standard most generic bands can only dream of attaining. All in all, I'm still not very content with black metal's current direction, but with new acts like Obtained Enslavement and Tyrant churning out impeccable material like this, there's nothing this hack has to complain about. I dunno if you can get this easily outside of Singapore (I can't even find another copy here in Singapore), as Pulverised doesn't get very good coverage despite the number of good acts in their stables, but do try sending about $18 to their contact below.
Contact: Pulverised Records, P.O. Box 109, Yishun Central,
(article published 8/7/1998)
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