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That is not dead... - 74%

Aetheraeon, April 24th, 2009

“That is not dead which can eternal lie...” should be a familiar phrase to anyone who has ever read any work by revered horror author H.P. Lovecraft. His world of legends has been a source of inspiration for a vast amount of bands within most genres of dark music, and not surprisingly so. Lovecraftian tales of horror and suspense are a rather suitable collection of dark stories, whose imagery is easily used in black metal. On “Shadows of Leng”, Norwegian black metal band Tyrann also draws heavily from Lovecraft's work and both the lyrics and the song titles (e.g., 'Shub-Niggurath', 'Dreams of R'lyeh') refer to elements taken from the well-known Chtulhu mythos.

Tyrann consists of three band members, all of whom perform or have performed in rather well-established bands such as 1349, Tsjuder and Koldbrann. Given this pretty impressive track record, it should come as no surprise that Tyrann's debut album sounds incredibly professional and feels like anything but a first attempt at creating and releasing a black metal album. Tyrann's music consist of fast-paced riffing, which in its core is taken directly from older black metal generations, but with a tendency towards more thrash-related hooks and song structures. The guitars sound dirty and almost crackly, which is perfect for this style of blackened thrash. Technicality is not the main interest and there is nothing pompous or overproduced here; speed and aggression are key, together with some pretty evil-sounding vocals courtesy of Draugluin.

While “Shadows of Leng” is not quite an absolute must-have, it is still an above average black metal album that would sit nicely in most collections. It will not be the album that you will instantly grab whenever you want something to listen to, but Tyrann definitely know how to keep you occupied for a nice 45 minutes.

(Originally written for: http://www.gothtronic.com/)