Author: Gay For Gary Oldman
Album: Aeons in Tectonic Interment
Label: Dark Descent Records
Funeral doom metal is a challenging beast to tame. Too often the slow, lumbering passages can wander aimlessly and leave the listener wondering where its gargantuan form is going, and with track after track of homogenous tones and paces, we can’t help but wonder when and if it will eventually lay its monstrous form down.
However, when done correctly, the sheer immensity of the music washes over you like some vast act of old gods of the earth, drawing you in and under, stretching the time between each beat out to an eternity; spending aeons in tectonic interment. Tyranny live up to the name.
The opening seconds of “Sunless Deluge” literally creak and moan with the promise of the unleashed behemoth of colossal noise. And when the gates both audibly and figuratively give way, the full force of Tyranny’s wrath is on display in the form crushing distortion, crashing drums and the soft hiss of tremolo guitars to pierce the wall of noise moving forward.
It’s easy to get lost in waxing lyrical with music like this. But with strong releases by Ahab, Shape of Despair, and Bell Witch this year, what do Tyranny promise in challenge of these impressive releases?
Whether deliberate or incidental, Aeons in Tectonic Interment drips with Lovecraftian undertones. An overused theme in so much of metal, but funeral doom was born for Lovecraft, and whilst numerous bands make admirable adaptations of the art-form, it is my firm belief that only funeral doom metal can capture the true immensity and scale of the threat of Lovecraft’s eldritch pantheon.
There is less variability between tracks than existed on the aforementioned competitors of this year’s funeral doom. The tempo varies less than Ahab’s “The Boats of the Glen Carigg”. It lacks the clean, melodic vocals of Shape of Despair’s “Monotony Fields”. And it lacks the mournful clean guitar interludes of Bell Witch’s “Four Phantoms”. In these regards Tyranny both succeed and fail, depending on your tastes.
I enjoy funeral doom, and at 51 minutes this album is not an overblown beast to tackle in one ‘easy’ sitting. The primary source of variation comes from the difference between lumbering passages and aggressive ones, in a way that comes through in more than just tempo. The midway mark in “A Voice Given Unto Ruin” is an excellent example of this. Hammer-on ambient passages add to the overall atmosphere without softening the overall force of the music. Album closer “Bells of the Black Basilica” meanders slowest of the five tracks, and the guitar leads build into a sorrowful harmony that lets the track, and the album, die gracefully; the closing bell chimes marking the fading heartbeat of the great beast they created.
In a year of great funeral doom releases, this album carves out its own unique place in stone, and builds an altar to some half-forgotten Elder God while it’s at it. It won’t convert anyone not already predisposed to the patience required for this music, but I firmly believe it’s a must-have for fans of the genre.
- Gay for Gary Oldman
Check ’em out here: https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/aeons-in-tectonic-interment