Blood Tyrant - Aristocracy Of Twilight - (7/10)
Published on January 26, 2017
Raw black metal act Blood Tyrant is fairly enigmatic. There is not a lot in the way of information about the project, and little to no social media presence. While this can be difficult in the sense of being able to provide background information to new listeners and readers, it is also somewhat exciting in the ideas of the older days when there was a lot of anonymity in the black metal world where music was the star, and the people behind it were more infamous than anything else. Blood Tyrant have certainly taken a lot from these older views with their first full-length, Aristocracy of Twilight. Lo-fi sounds combining slower atmospherics and faster, cold as ice riffing harken back to a period where black metal was more mysterious, but also still quite chilling and evil. With this record, being released via Iron Bonehead, this (from what we can tell) duo burn through 30 minutes of grim and raw black metal to a pretty good result.
The opening section of the firs track sets the album off on an eerie foot, with a dark ambient interlude before the rest of the track kicks into gear. The album itself takes a rather mid-paced approach, and there are still plenty of keys being utilized under the guitars and drum work to create a darker feeling. Keeping the underproduced sound really does a great job of allowing this album to feel like it would have been released 15-20 years ago as opposed to in 2016, which of course is not exactly original, but well executed nevertheless. The vocals are echo-y and sound strained, unleashing some hellish screams and just generally sounding very tortured.
There is perhaps a bit more focus on the usage of the keys than in the guitars, but due to the production it is understandable that the two do somewhat blend into one another. The drum work is simple enough, never becoming too flashy or fast but maintaining a nice groove and structure to keep the songs solid for their run-time. That is not to say the band does not pick up the pace here and there, a good example being “Barbaric Wampyrism”, but these sections feel more like bursts of energy as opposed to the main focus or intent of the band. That being said, it does add some nice variation to the mix and is welcome when these little spurts do appear. Aristocracy does have a lot of similar ideas throughout, with each track not straying too far from the others or the overall sound, but there is still enough to distinguish the songs from one another, and find enjoyable moments in each. Further, this group has managed to create a nice bookend on the record, ending with a melodic ambient piece, similar to the opening but not as foreboding. The short outro ends the record on a haunting but still somewhat peaceful note that is quite enjoyable.
Blood Tyrant may be a product of olden times, but that approach will always have an audience in the modern landscape. In the days of heavily polished and pristine black metal, or bands focusing on technicality or progressive structures, it can be nice to just sit back and enjoy some lo-fi black metal. This group already has a strong backing with Iron Bonehead being on their side so their upside is quite large, and it will be interesting to see where this act goes from here on.