THOUSAND YEAR WAR - Tyrants and Men CD
Genre: Death Metal
On the surface this sounds like melodic death metal from Sweden with blackened vocals. In reality it's Hiram Lohr from Alaska who recorded the guitar and vocals plus had a now former band member on bass. They sent that recorded material to session drummer Fredrik Widigs (THE UGLY and DESULTOR) in Sweden to lay down the drum tracks. After that the full length got mixed in Sweden by another guy and holy crap they had an album to present to a label to which they got signed to. You see people it ain't so hard to do. Alright in all fairness it took a little while for all of this to come about but in the end Hiram Lohr's vision became a reality. Besides if you wanna get that authentic Swedish Melodic Death Metal sound then send it to a Swedish studio. Tyrants and Men is all of that as well as having some cool looking cover artwork. Hiram Lohr has decidedly made this release sound genre perfect.
For anyone who reacts to Swedish melo-death the same way Dracula reacts to a cross you might wanna just pick this up for old time's sake. Let's be honest now, we all have a few AMON AMARTH releases which we love and THOUSAND YEAR WAR isn't far from that template. There's plenty of catchy riff action attacking cuts like "The Storm I Ride". If that's not your pleasure (then screw you since I think it's a great cut) then songs like opener "Defiance" or the epic battle hymn of "No Gods No Masters" will have you doing the invisible grapefruit pose. I would not call everything on here a winner as far as my taste but it's still a cool sounding album. Hiram Lohr's vocals are a mix of the blackened rasp as well as traditional deep throaty death metal growls. So there's the variety factor which keeps thing interesting. Another point where this release is appealing is in the songwriting. Hiram Lohr's has a cool ability at following a recipe and yet make some things standout. "Warriors of Defiance" is pure battle metal with a hint of that Euro folk influence poking it's head in around the halfway mark. All in all it's a decent release which is a surprise since I hardly listen to this type of stuff anymore.