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Friday, September 17, 2021

Review: Tyrannic – Mortuus Decadence

Label: Iron Bonehead Productions / Seance Records

Date: November 19th, 2021

I have never heard a more European sounding album come from Australia. And Tyrannic are proudly stating the influences themselves, which is getting less and less appreciated in nowadays metal. You know, everybody claims to have an identity of their own, only to end up sounding like myriads of others. On the same note, Australia has a vibrant extreme metal scene and these guys could have picked any number of their local heroes as worshipped idols. Instead, they went to the other side of the globe to find inspiration for their work.

With the band name like Tyrannic and the album title such as “Mortuus Decadence”, you might just draw out some conclusions without my assistance. However, I’m going to make it easier on you.

Basically, we’re dealing with crude, primordial extreme metal off the old continent. The decadent style of the forefathers, such as Celtic Frost or Mortuary Drape. Tyrannic states other influences, too, like Root or Hungarian Tormentor, but I would say these appear in hints mostly. Especially Root with the ritualistic chanting that crawls from under the doomy formation of certain parts. Hell, there’s not a soul on Earth that can persuade me even Tony Iommi didn’t have anything to do with “Osmos Burial”, for instance. A lesson well learned by the guitarist at Tyrannic.

Even the production work done on the album resounds in its hollowness and echoing to the early days of European extreme metal.

On the other hand, “Mortuus Decadence” is enriched with a substantial second wave, Norwegian black metal input. Again, the earliest, primitive side of the genre. Darkthrone and early Mayhem do come to mind.

So, the genre defining is both simple and difficult, at the same time. The easiest thing would be to just call it old school doom black metal and leave it at that. With the names dropped above, it should be easy to conclude what is to come on the album.

But there is yet another side of Tyrannic that would not fit so easily into this description. I’ve mentioned the crudeness of this style and it is true to this album to some extent. At least when you split these songs into pieces. The individual parts of these tracks are rude, crude and… Well, decadent.

Now, take into consideration that the songs on “Mortuus Decadence” average on over eight minutes. Only one of them lasts under seven minutes. Take a moment to process the fact. Imagine if they took the patterns of the olden gods and mimicked them to exact replicas. That would surely make this album among the most boring ever to come out of heavy metal.

Of course, they didn’t do that. The riches of “Mortuus Decadence” come from the arranging skills. The template is near impossible to find, so the songs keep the listener’s attention at max all the time. All the while crafting that atmospheric influence of a rite, definitely not aimed at anyone’s well-being.

At first, you might find those intersecting moments within songs a bit too rough and not quite naturally flowing. And at certain points that might be true. But if you give the album a few spins, most of them will fall into place. Also, giving into the aura created by Tyrannic here should help in that regard.

Still, tastes differ and a number of metal infested souls will have trouble processing the album. Especially if you tend to prefer the cleanliness offered by the XXI century. But this is history. This is where it all came from. Tyrannic presents a slightly different view of the earliest metal legacy, but “Mortuus Decadence” still has that cryptic smell that drew the outlines of European metal.

P. S. The cover should’ve been used as a promotional photo instead. And you should’ve lit up those candles, too. Other than that, a good job!