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Hollenthon > Tyrants and Wraiths > Reviews > autothrall
Hollenthon - Tyrants and Wraiths

Fractured tombs and catacombs of woe - 80%

autothrall, April 25th, 2010

After the excellent Domvs Mvndi and the monumental With Vilest Worms to Dwell, Hollenthon had blown the ailing Therion out of the water and established itself as the new standard for dark, symphonic metal. While it was no jumping of the proverbial shark, year's Opus Magnum took a few spins to get into, and even then did not live up to the greatness of its predecessors. As if in response, Martin Shirenc and his stalwarts have released a 4-track EP with some great new tracks.

None of the material on Tyrants and Wraiths is as memorable as an "Y Draig Goch", but certainly a small step beyond what was accomplished on Opus Magnum. The production is as bold and bombastic as ever, and most of the tracks are straightforward black/death metal with slight embellishes of symphonic grace and chorals: "Tyrants and Wraiths" is heavy and effective, but not as strident and immediate as "Innocent Sin" or the mystical "Deathly Dirges". Closing track "Of Hollow Men" is the longest track and boasts some excellent choir work, dark and thriving like a ritual about to fall at the next eclipse, a sacrifice.

With luck, this is a teaser for what's to come when Shirenc drops his next full-length album. It's only 4 tracks and 20 minutes, but individually these were more exciting than most of the tracks on the last album. The EP also features two live videos from the 2008 Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium.