ALAS, TYRANNY ”Domination Liberation Purification”

Self-released – 2010 – U.S.A.

Alas, Tyranny are a promising quintet who might not have released a perfect debut album, but it sure does speak volumes of the band’s potential. The mouthful that’s “Domination Liberation Purification” gets started with a slew of straightforward death metal songs that feature touches of neoclassical bombast and other various fancy noodles. But the real surprise doesn’t arrive until ”The Awakening” where singer-guitarist Matt Parsons eschews his grizzly growl and allows even more ingredients to join the mix. There’s power metal here and a gothic dimension provided by the angelic vocals of Katie, the girl singer who has since departed the band as of this writing. Even more confusing, the listener is treated to galloping rhythms, upbeat tempos, and a rollicking thrash tempo on occasion. Such is the magic spun by Alas, Tyranny. Rather than stick to a single genre and recycle the same staid material, they try coming up with a unique concoction.

Fans of progressive metal are well catered for on such sprawling tracks as “The Chains of Remembrance” and album closer “The Memory Still Lingers.” But despite the album’s intrepid forays into other realms, the band’s underlying flaws keep “Domination Liberation Purification” from truly attaining a measure of renown. The problem is when Alas, Tyranny are in black metal mode, it’s Dimmu Borgir worship. When they let a female croon a few lines, it’s Nightwish all of a sudden. When they pull a 180 and go brutal, it’s Kataklysm. Each time keyboards and orchestra samples join the fray, it’s Symphony X. Quite a mixed bag apparently. The result is quite an aural mess, and worse, the songs don’t stick. Alas, Tyranny do know their hooks, but they can’t manage to sustain the listener’s interest until the very last note. It’s a telling weakness and because of it such wonderful tunes (lyrically the band are far ahead of most newcomers on the extreme metal scene) as “[I]nvincible,” “Born Of An Insidious Nature,” and “Servants of Liberty” are consigned to the shitter.

To top off its blemishes, the production doesn’t do the band’s complexity justice. Even worse, the secret behind great hooks and memorable choruses has eluded the band. Even with these flaws, this is a solid release and gives a taste of great things to come. Alas, these gys are still on their way to cast a long shadow over the American metal scene.


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