Like watching the carpet fade
What is a minute? We all know it's sixty seconds, but it's also one sixtieth of an hour. That's the matter of fact explanation. The emotive explanations can differ from context to context. Don't forget, according to Take That, it only takes a minute girl, to fall in love. A minute whilst immersed in your favourite video game, or that last minute of extra time when your team are a goal down in the cup final, can pass far more quickly than a minute silence or waiting a minute for the kettle to boil. In the case of Damnation Army's new album Tyrant, the first minute of the first track 'To deaths arms,' is perhaps the longest drawn out minute I've ever had to endure.
It's an incredibly bland three-chord riff that goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on. The idea only annoys for the said minute but it feels longer, and it also numbs your brain into an almost listless state. The break that finally comes after this monotonous dirge is another bland riff of the same tempo. Vocalist Thomas Nyholm does the usual death metal screeching over this second idea, before the song goes into a third repetitious riff, which is just another tiresome three chord nugget that is coupled with more screaming. After this drawn-out start the first riff kicks in again and bores the arse off you for a second time! This bunkum lasts for over seven minutes. It doesn't even try to change tempo, or have any sort of rhythm or slicing musicianship. It is just a collection of under-cooked chord sequences with some death metal warbling over the top.
The above paragraph sums up the whole of this album. There are marginally better ideas on some of the songs. The opening riff to 'Soldier of the Damned' is quite good, but soon collapses into another dull as ditchwater chord sequence. This track feels like it lasts seven minutes, but clocks in at just over the five-minute mark (Thank goodness). 'Dalia' is a six-minute plodder, where guitarist Thomas Nyholm decides, like the first two tracks, to play it safe, and not chock out any impressive axe work that would keep the listener interested. The songs are devoid of solos and any significant instrumental breaks, instead, still favouring the yawn-as-you-come chord sequence. "Enchanted by the mystical fire' tries to spice the proceedings up a little by adding some much needed pace, but the ideas used in this track are just extensions of what has already come before on the album.
'A dagger right in your heart,' although perhaps what bass player Thomas Nyholm wants to do to me right now, is another mid tempo chord-u-like. It is neither catchy nor inspired, and it sounds as if drummer Thomas Nyholm is only capable of drumming one speed for the entire duration of each song. (Either that or he doesn't know how to program tempo changes into the drum machine) You've probably guessed by now that Damnation Army is just one man. Like the Thompson Twins, who consisted of three members, were neither twins or called Thompson, Damnation Army is just one man, who's probably never been in the army or going through eternal punishment right at this moment. (Although he could be if he's had to sit and mix this album for any length of time.)
The biggest problem with Tyrant is the guitar work. The vast percentage of the riffs on this disc are down strummed chord sequences, which can be quite effective in small doses. But on this large scale it just makes an album sound stale and unexciting. Only when 'Embodiment of Destruction' is reached does the album get a little more interesting with its genuinely good ideas. But it's too little too late to save this horrible collection of tunes. What is a minute? In this context it's the time it takes to listen to Tyrant, get bored and remove the album from the CD player before launching it from the car window on to the embankment of the M6 motorway.