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TYRANT
TYRANT
Legions Of The Dead
(Blood & Iron Records)
70:50min

There are countless bands out in the Metal world that chose the name TYRANT. The Metal Archives site lists 19 of them, and I'm sure there were some more that didn't record anything notable. But... there's only one true TYRANT! And these TYRANT are from Pasadena, California and are around since 1978! Never on hiatus or even disbanded, the band has the impressive discography of three albums in 37 years! Oh, and one demo as well. After the release of this one in 1982, it took them not long to get a deal with the famous label Metal Blade. The first result was the release of the song 'The Battle Of Armageddon' on part three of the legendary Metal Massacre compilation series. It took TYRANT two more years to release their first album. “Legions Of The Dead” saw the light of day in 1985. Even though TYRANT didn't feed the need for speed that was all the rage in those times, they gained a world-wide loyal following with “Legions Of The Dead”. And listening to that album three decades later, this is no wonder. Embedded in a dynamic and really powerful production, “Legions Of The Dead” is nothing less than 45 minutes of truest and purest Heavy Metal. And I mean real Heavy Metal: epic like MANOWAR, evil like VENOM and heavier than both of them together. Music played with the highest poise and musicians packed with leather and spikes. Based on the tight rhythm section of drummer Rob Roy and bass player and band founder Greg May, the mighty guitar riffs of Rocky Rockwell hit every nerve as deep as you can imagine. This dense music was crowned by the extremely powerful and variable vocals of Greg's brother Glen, that were ennobled by high pitched screams. From the introduction piece of 'Warriors Of Metal' onwards, this four piece took no prisoners. Power Metal - the definition, so to say... 'Fall Into The Hands Of Evil' with its doomy, yet grooving basic riff defines the heaviness of TYRANT perfectly. With the by then already known 'The Battle Of Armageddon', the TYRANT showed his epic side for the first time in all its grandeur. But it's the long title track 'Legions Of The Dead' with its MAIDENesque intro that really blows MANOWAR to dust. Maybe the self-proclaimed “Kings of Metal” listened to this particular song and realized that they can't be better than this, thus playing only lame bullshit since that day... The B-side of the original album started off with the spoken word intro 'Tyrant's Revelation', that picked up all the song's titles in the lyrics. The band kept up this idea on their other albums as well, as some kind of ritual. The first real song after that, the mighty and crushingly heavy 'Listen To The Preacher', keeps up the high level of the first side like it is all just some kind of play. With 'Knight Of Darkness' and 'Thru The Night', we find two more gems of real Metal, before 'Sacrifice' proves that keyboards and epic heaviness work out well together. Listen here, David DeFeis! The original album ends with the rather brisk and light-footed 'Time Is Running Low', a song that makes you want to play the album again. So, there's no way to deny that “Legions Of The Dead” is one of THE classic Metal album of the 1980s. And since this year sees the 30th anniversary of that release, it's time to give this album a proper and worthy re-release. Portugal's Blood & Iron Records took charge of this. And for a worthy re-release, there has to be a bunch of bonus tracks. In this case, it's seven songs from a rehearsal demo from 1982, none of them was on the demo of the same year. Asides from the album tracks 'Knight Of Darkness' and 'Thru The Night' (named 'Through The Night' here), we have five songs that didn't make on any of the band's albums. In some cases it's a real pity, since especially 'Day Of Doom' and 'Free For A While' really had the potential to become real classics. But also 'Heavy Steel' and 'Her Ways' are pretty interesting tunes. It's just 'Kill 4 Fun' that can't keep the level here. Oh, and the recording quality, too, of course. But that's pretty clear, since we have rehearsal room recordings from the stone age here, so it's nearly a wonder that those recordings were still existing. So, all in all, this is a very worthy re-release, thanks to the contribution of Mr. Greg May himself who not only provided the bonus material but also wrote some liner notes. So, now it's time to 'Fall Into The Hands Of Evil' and visit the TYRANT at www.facebook.com/pages/tyrant/172515856798. For all further info and ordering information check out the label sites at www.facebook.com/pages/blood-iron-records/836808366381084 or www.bloodandironrecords.webs.com

Thomas Meyer

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