“Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
I assume this is the first (and likely last) time a Simon & Garfunkel lyric will find its way into a funeral doom review. As odd as it may seem, however, it was one of the first things that popped into my head the moment I finished my initial spin of Aeons in Tectonic Interment. Darkness is, without a doubt, the cornerstone upon which funeral doom is built, and Tyranny welcomes that old, familiar friend back into its loving embrace after a ten year lapse with an expertise clearly befitting a band birthed from the same land that sired pioneering funerealists such as Thergothon and Skepticism.
Despite the long stretch between releases, the duo at the heart of this beast, Matti Mäkelä and Lauri Lindqvist, haven’t exactly been inert. Both were involved in the similarly plodding, short-lived Wormphlegm responsible for 2006’s delightfully crushing Tomb of the Ancient King, and Matti currently splits time in death metal rumblers Corpsessed and the slightly brighter (by funeral doom standards), more keyboard-focused funereal crawlers Profetus. Tyranny is the duo’s lightless escape, however – a crushing, cruel slip into cimmerian madness fueled by phantasmagoric, Lovecraftian nightmares that bring to life the impossibly large, the inconceivably misshapen, and the gruesome sense of desperation that accompanies the sudden realization that you just slammed the door shut on rationality for the foreseeable future.
The core formula is, unsurprisingly, inhumanly slow. Sluggish enough to grow moss on your lids between blinks of consciousness. This alone is enough to keep oodles of lookie-loos at a safe distance. But the rest of us who somehow manage to thrive while mucking through a weeping, sorghum-syrup-sodden delivery will find Aeons in Tectonic Interment to be a grisly delight: The manner in which guest drummer Jussi-Pekka Manner (Corpsessed) pulverizes the hell out of those skins all over “A Voice Given to Ruin” (a tune which becomes surprisingly *ahem* “spry” during its closing minute-and-a-half); the bits of surprisingly melodic guitars that give the slightest pinch of a much more damned Ahab at the close of “Preparation of a Vessel” and throughout the epic closer, “Bells of the Black Basilica”; and those savagely glottal vocals that give the whole of the record the kind of mutant flavor that leaves one feeling as if they’ve just been accosted by a brutal colossus that guzzles sweet sanity like a 100-story parasite from Hell.
But the pièce de résistance here – the reason Aeons in Tectonic Interment will embed itself into your longterm memory indefinitely – is clearly the delightfully dour “The Stygian Enclave.” This tune prolongs the slow clomp that governs every cut, but the ample wallop is augmented by a generous dose of what appears to be some sort of twisted horn section braying in the backdrop. It is… alien… unexpected… and highly effective in terms of setting Tyranny apart from their peers. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even fully convinced they are horns, but whatever they are, they fit wonderfully within the band’s funereal design, particularly when that thundering bass wobbles from one speaker to the next around the 6-minute mark.
in Tectonic Interment by Tyranny</a>Obviously this ain’t the sort of thing that’s going to appeal to just anyone. But if you’re the type who can appreciate the “feeling” of noise as much as you appreciate the sound of music, and you like the idea of enveloping yourself in an intensely slogging and fiercely dark atmosphere where it’s easy to imagine yourself judged, damned and devoured by Lu-Kthu and spat into perdition, welcome to the fucking party, Bub.
Crank this baby through the big-boy speakers at maximum volume, you slow-bangers.