Blood Tyrant expand Wampyric black metal into depths of hell on raw ‘Aristocracy of Twilight’

blood-tyrantWhen you think about black metal, it’s natural if your mind goes right to blood. Why not? Bloodshed is a major factor when it comes to this kind of music, and that essential life fluid is smeared all over the history of this style of metal.

So, when it comes to “Aristocracy of Twilight,” the debut record from Blood Tyrant, you can’t help but be consumed with plasma. The band burns the torches of wampyric black metal, so you know that delving in blood is something that isn’t just a part of their name, but also is factored into their DNA. This, the band’s first record, takes you back to the primal, raw days where black metal wasn’t polished and presented in pristine light. This music sounds like it was created and recorded in a cave, which adds to its charm, and what you hear here could transport you elsewhere. The mysterious duo—Baron Yrch Malachi and The Wampyric Specter—combine to create a sound that’s dark and bloodthirsty but also pounds heavily on your psyche. By the way, I have no idea who does what for this Dutch unit, so let it all meld together and take over your mind.

12Jacket_3mm_spine_all_sides.indd“Dawn of a New Supremacy” begins the record with a wave of synth and the sounds of swords clashing in the background. As a horse stampedes through, the track gets going, with raw growls and shouts, chaotic drum madness, and charging guitars. The final moments of the song hit the gas pedal, and wild cackles erupt, leading the way toward “The False Heresy” and its heavy dose of hypnosis. The tempo thrashes relentlessly, as throat-scraping vocals and a burst of violence create a dangerous title wave. Raw power bursts through, as the senses are clobbered, and a haze of noise spirals away. “Undying Iron Will” starts with oppressive weirdness and crazed howls, as the song unleashes a dangerous assault that’s made that much eerier by the choral calls floating in the back. The tempo shreds, while a madness-drenched stretch arrives and knocks for you a loop.

“Barbaric Wampyrism” is a fiery black metal storm, with an assault that feels like it’s trying to live up to its name. The drums are crushed, while the band hits a mind-altering level, with the sounds droning in circles and bringing disorientation. “Clandestine Bloodmists” is murky and creepy before it gets speedy and drubbing. Raw growls cut deep wounds into your flesh, and a strange sense of catchiness slips into what’s otherwise a blinding war. “Engulfed By Purifying Flames” is fast, thrashy, and fierce, with the growls cutting through the flesh, and the playing making your head spin. The band hammers hard while it has you in its grasp, with the growls conveying ancient evils and the track winding up in a massive fury. Closer “Inertia Meditation” is a brief instrumental comedown, as strange synth rolls in, and the feeling that an ominous spirit is lurking in the mists is something that’s impossible to shake.

Blood Tyrant’s heavily anticipated debut “Aristocracy of Twilight” pays off that built-up interest because it takes black metal back to its formative years, but in a way that pushes the genre forward while keeping the roots intact. These seven songs do a number on you, and the more I listened, the more I kept getting lost in their nightmarish fury. Nothing’s polished or neatly preserved. Everything is choked with blood, which only makes a world of sense.

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