Ten years is a long time to wait for anything. But for Finnish funeral doom legends, Tyranny, it’s a drop of sand in the bucket of time. The band has laid dormant since 2005. But now, in 2015 they are back with Aeons in Tectonic Interment. A sprawling work of atmosphere, doom and fearful end times, Tyranny have leapt back into the scene to take their rightful throne among the all-time greats of funeral doom.
Funeral doom, with its campy genre name, has become a bit of a “thing” since Tyranny were last on the scene. Where once bands like fellow Finn’s Thergothon, Australia’s Deisembowelment and Mournful Congregation as well as UK’s Esoteric pretty much owned the genre, there are now hundreds of imposters. Further, the genre name has been used to apply to any hard to categorize doom band that plays slowly. The point is, Tyranny plays funeral doom the way funeral doom was meant to be played. And while Aeons in Tectonic Interment may not hit the level Evoken’s Atra Mors does (but, honestly what does?), the album is a very, very tough to criticize.
Tyranny was formed back in 2001 by Matti Mäkelä (Corpsessed) and Lauri Lindqvist. For Aeons in Tectonic Interment they have employed the help of fellow Corpsessed member Jussi-Pekka Manner to add percussion. For their live show, fellow Corpsessed member Jyri Lustig (guitars) steps in along with Anssi Mäkinen (Keyboards). But in the studio, Tyranny is very much a two-man project, although the connection to Corpsessed is pronounced enough that fans of Corpsessed will notice it right off the bat.
One of the most successful attributes of any Tyranny album is their ability to create thick layers of atmosphere. Aside from the sparse instrumentation and plodding rhythms, Tyranny employ a number of effects, including choirs, samples and what can only be described as the sound of fog and smoke, to heighten the atmosphere of each track. Those effects, largely covered up as the guitars surge forward in a thicker manner, can also cut through like a hot knife through butter when the guitars are playing their typical sparse, fuzzy tones. Combined with the intense vocal ability, either inward or outwardly exerted lyrics, the effect is to create an album that feels alive, evolving with each listen. After a few spins it’s the beauty of the entire work that astounds.
To say Aeons in Tectonic Interment is dark would be an understatement. Five tracks sprawl across and arcing fifty-minutes of depraved beauty. Think of the album as a journey to the center of your soul. And that is, of course, intentional. Tyranny deals with end times as much they deal with internal suffering. The final track, “Bells of the Black Basilica” is nothing short of a triumph. As the album builds in deranged intensity and focused assault the church bells offer a spooky yet welcome touch of atmosphere.
As in all quality funeral doom, Aeons in Tectonic Interment has the ability to infiltrate dreams. Participants of lucid dreaming will enjoy the demented places that the album will take them. But even those plagued by insomnia will be pleased to soundtrack their sleepless nights and panicked dawns with the somber heaviness of Tyranny.