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Tyrann - Shadows Of Leng (8/10) - Norway - 2009

Genre: Black Metal / Thrash Metal
Label: Karisma Records
Playing time: 45:39
Band homepage: Tyrann

Tracklist:

  1. Reaper
  2. Beneath
  3. Trial By Fire
  4. Hellridden
  5. Dreams Of R'lyeh
  6. Shub-Niggurath
  7. Soulburner
  8. Black Moon
  9. Grave Dreamer
Tyrann - Shadows Of Leng

There's a storm a'comin' and the lightning comes courtesy of TYRANN. This bolt from the black will be setting fire to a tree top near you, stand a little closer if you want roasted nuts.

I always appreciate a band that lets you know what you're in for from get-go and “Reaper” certainly fulfils that purpose, it tears you a new arse with its immediate blaze of Black Thrash flamethrowing. Incendiary lead riffs spit napalm across the rapid chop of the rhythm as this hellhound slips its leash as goes chasing flesh, it needs to be quick though because there's a percussive landslide not far behind and even Satan's pup is likely to get steamrollered by the unstoppable pummelling. The die is cast then, the addition of less frantic bridges only serving to counterpoint the intensity of this hoot a minute headlopper.

There's more hooks here than at a pirate convention and even if you resist the urge on the first track, by the third your resolve will have found some dark place to hide because there's no way that anyone isn't going to be dragged along, kicking and screaming if needs be, by the scorching tug of the main riff to “Trial By Fire.” Despite the molten momentum, “Shadows Of Leng” is very accessible, the Blackened antipathy tempered by the natural inclusiveness of the Thrash elements, the latter particularly prominent when lead solos come ripping in, and lets not forget the chop of traditional hacked riffs that turn one and all into woodpeckers.

Whilst most of the album careens along with the urgency of some hapless snakebite victim in search of anti-venom, “Hellridden” is a relative slowburner, at least initially, then all Hell breaks loose halfway through as that lead guitar starts gunning tracer fire and the pace flips the bird to gravity before the final section applies the brakes for a stalking menace to the finish. The balance between the two genres shifts throughout the album, though whatever the permutation, a bruising awaits around every corner. Where other exponents of Black and Thrash favour a dirty sound, TYRANN maintain distinction, it isn't a crystal clear sound but it is powerful and nothing is lost in the mashing, this lot don't hide the knife, it glints in open view, get ready.

Whilst there is a familiarity, there is also a freshness, this isn't some tired attempt at reinvigorating the corpse, it's a cross breeding of the strongest attributes of the parent genres, the offspring is fleeter of foot and longer of fang. Over three quarters of an hour, “Shadows Of Leng” remains convincing, who says lightning never strikes the same spot twice, this'll leave you a smoking, blackened mess with only a toothy grin to show you actually enjoyed yourself.

(Online June 10, 2009)

Niall MacCartney



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