In Case You Missed It: Morvigor – Tyrant
Hi there! Sometimes in this industry (the industry ov heavy merol) the best music is that which finds you, not the other way around: I can receive decent promos all day long, but it’s the cream of the crop upon which I stumble on by complete accident. As luck would have it one of the dudes in Morvigor sent an e-mail to the blog simply asking for a review of the album, and so that is what you shall receive today. This album warrants mention because it has retroactively squeezed its way into my top 10 of 2017 (even though I was too lazy to compose that list at the end of last year). Tyrant is extremely good and worthy of a cursory listen in case you missed it.
With their sophomore release, Morvigor has accomplished the daunting task of replacing an empty spot in my heart that was once filled by Opeth. The songs on here are long ones dear reader, and that is one of the attributes of an album that really piques my interest. We have four long songs with classy segues between each of them, for a total running time of about 48 minutes, and all of it is phenomenal. A short intro track sets the mood and the second song “No Repentance” starts up with a punky guitar riff followed by an equally punky drum beat. (Odd, because I don’t like punk, but perhaps that’s a testament to how great of a record this is). Next up is a nine minute banger with serious Opeth vibes in the riffs and in the song composition. Morvigor are stellar songwriters, able to keep my attention for up to 15 minutes (“Blood of the Pelican”) with a penchant for riffs that don’t overstay their welcome and in-song transitions that are nothing but tasteful. Rounding off the ordeal is the title track which contains a swath of tempo-changes, a classic hard rock guitar solo, and some… power metal vocals (I know, right!)
(There, see how those riffs treat ya.)
So there’s the basic structure of Tyrant… but how does it sound? Well first off they claim to have some black metal in there, and there is but it’s not overwhelming. To me, this is a good combination of death metal and old-fashioned heavy metal. There’s nothing too brutal about it, but there are plenty of other bands who can satisfy those needs. The chord progressions delivered by guitarists Sytze Andringa and Stefan van Delft are quite uplifting, best demonstrated when the band is weaving in and out of longer instrumental passages between the segments containing black metal vocals. (That’s actually where I find the most black metal influence, in Jesse Peetoom’s raspy vocal delivery.) Evio Paauw’s basslines do a good job of shadowing the riffs, but are given some great chances to shine; notably 2/3rds of the way through the epic “Blood of the Pelican” when the guitars take a short breather from the riff marathon. The drums are deftly played and Brendan Duffy who is generous in doling out blast beats when not adhering to those high-energy punk patterns.
(Many bands can’t pull of a fifteen minute song this well.)
As I alluded to before, this isn’t an extremely abrasive album, it might even attract a few of your non-metal friends who like heavier music. The passages between moments of blasting are in fact quite beautiful, again reminiscent of a band who used to be a master of balancing the light and the heavy, Opeth; and that’s about as massive of a compliment that I can pay any band! Tyrant is a monster, easily edging its way into my… let’s say top 5 records of last year (I mean there’s no way it could dethrone Trance of Death, but it comes close). Morvigor have given us an immense sophomore album of
progressive meticulously crafted songs that strike a perfect balance of heavy metal and atmosphere moody but uplifting compositions. It’s a dynamic and inventive release, one that made an immediate impact and was better discovered late than never. Tyrant is an easy 4.5 out of 5 toilets o’ flame.