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On disc: Alas, Tyranny

Domination Liberation Purification - Mike Thompson - 9 stars

Domination Liberation Purification

Domination Liberation Purification
(self-released 2010)

Alas, Tyranny is an American metal band with a variety of influences mainly from the more extreme end of the metal spectrum. The bulk of the music could, I suppose, be described as epic, majestic, melodic, blackened death metal, but that's just silly so how about we just call it plain old 'good stuff'!
What Alas, Tyranny have in this album, Domination Liberation Purification, is a collection of great, high quality and enjoyable songs. The musicianship is top class with some great riffs and intricate guitar and keyboard work. In many places the album actually reminds me of latter day Dimmu Borgir, but executed with far more style. In other parts there is a real Emperor vibe, in others it seems Dissection are an influence.
Where these extreme bands often fall down is in the vocal department and I have heard a variety of criticisms of Matt Parson's singing. In listening to this album I would say that Matt may not be the best extreme vocalist in the world, but he is far from the worst. The vocal performance is pretty solid throughout, with a lot of influences from Finnish musicians like Jari Menp and Petri Lindroos, you can even decipher a good percentage of the growled vocals.
The band also features a female vocalist in the form of Katie Cornell. Her voice is very sweet and pleasant and reminds me a lot of Liv Kristine and In Zijlstra, the former singer of Dutch metal outfit Elexorien. Her voice fits the music very nicely, adding a new layer to the already complex soundscapes on the album, particularly in The Heart's Betrayal.
This review is actually based on the lo-fi version of the album, but I really couldn't hear anything wrong with the production. I really can't wait to hear the proper album now! I would highly recommend this to all fans of melodic black metal and the heavier, less folky, sides of bands like Ensiferum and Elexorien.

9 stars

Mike Thompson


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