Lago – Tyranny (Battleground Records)Sunday, 31st August 2014
Sometimes it’s nice to just have a blast of death metal. Lago’s debut album (after a demo of the same name two years ago) offers enjoyment on that most primitive scale. Blackened death metal of the highest order is on hand here, and for their first full-length, the level of precision here is impressive.
There’s a lot to like about Tyranny. The guitar tone is completely sinister in tone, giving it that blackened evil that shines with the production. Many bands of this ilk just don’t seem to grasp that feeling, yet here we are with Lago’s debut and they have nailed it (even the bass is given some breathing room). The band’s influences are prominent, but well chosen. There’s a Morbid Angel feel to songs like “Tyranny of Man,” with it’s Domination-esque opening. The vocals, when growled, have low, gutteral Ross Dolan (Immolation) approach and keep that intelligible feel despite their raw power. The blackened rasps sound more akin to Epoch of Unlight. There are also some hints of bands like Decapitated, Behemoth, and even Emperor (“Father of All”) to be uncovered as you go. The strongest aspect of the band is their riffing, balancing the death and black without truly overpowering in either direction. It’s precise, razor-sharp, and deadly.
While as a debut, Tyranny does succumb to wearing it’s influences on it’s sleeve, but it doesn’t hold the band back musically speaking. With the technical ability all but mastered already, the band has nowhere else to go but begin to formulate more of their own style for round two. And watch out once that happens, as Lago will undoubtedly become a massive force to be reckoned with.