Where do I even begin? Some reviews seem to write themselves, but Tyrant of Death’s latest album has me at a loss for words. No metaphors, no cheeky remarks. I’ve got nothing. But I will say this: Ascendancy is by far the best industrial metal album of 2014, and easily makes it into the top 5 I have heard period.
Brass tacks: this ain’t your daddy’s industrial metal. No 90’s/early 2000’s cyber-goth tropes to be found here. As far as friends go, Ascendancy is far more comfortable cracking skulls with the likes of Meshuggah and Behemoth than hanging with Fear Factory or Nine Inch Nails. The vocals have this hellish, unrestrained quality to them that is pretty uncommon to the genre, and the musicianship is extremely technical.
Those looking for a gateway to the madness might start with “Ethereal.” Tons of low end, wild time changes, piano, blastbeats, and vocals harsh enough to tear a throat asunder. “Ethereal! The name is writ-ten in blood! Ethereal! Her screams dest-roy the earth! I know my way a-round the dead to fin-ally re-an-al-yze all of my sins!” The heavy syncopation of these moments paired with the perfect placement of breaks and samples is nothing short of orgasmic.
With only 5 tracks clocking around 10 minutes apiece, Ascendancy is a carefully orchestrated work of progressive madness as well. The track lengths are fully justified and never boring in Alex’s ability to twist and contort ideas into a number of pleasing and often surprising directions. By the time each track is through, the breakneck pace honestly makes me feel like it’s only been 2-3 minutes.
Conclusion: get on the band’s bandcamp page right now and listen to this bad boy. While you’re at it, it’s easily worth the couple of bucks to buy it. I know I did.