Once in a while – and that is exactly why I do like being a reviewer – you just get overwhelmed by something completely stunning. It does not have to be something new / renewing, you know, but something that just grabs you by your b***s, eh, something that draws attention.
As you might know (or not, whatever), I have never been allergic to the Old School (at all) – a lack of originality, at least as long as the result equals the (glorious) level of the past, might carry my appreciation. Well, let’s get acquainted with Tymvos, a new (I guess) combo from Edinburgh, a truly beautiful and historically important city in the South of Scotland. Well, this is a three-headed combo (Mrk Vraktor [guitars, mix & mastering], George [bass guitars and main vocals] and Leo [drums & percussion]) that very recently finished their first (untitled) demonstrational effort, which consists of three lullabies.
So, these three pretty human beings wanted to pay tribute to the Old School, and then I am referring to the English roots especially, but actually the whole trans-European origins too (and why not to forget about our dearest North-American friends, evidently). This review deals with Tymvos’s debut demo-EP, independently released, and consisting of three chansons, all of them clocking in between four and five minutes. And before going over to the aural side, a short word on the cover artwork: gruesome, explicit, truly sweet and adorable – and for sure: totally fitting to the conceptual content of this three-man army.
This stuff simply brings back the essence, the origins of the scene from three decades -or even more- ago; and I am not exaggerating. The basics are quite, well, primal and uncompromising for sure. No gimmicks, no trendy exaggeration, no progressive experimentation whatsoever. No, these guys do focus on the archaic and primordial roots that created a scene that, eventually, conquered the world mercilessly.
Opener Black Death immediately sets the trend, with a sluggish, down-tuned intro, combining monumental heavy-weighted strings and devastation drum patterns (truly excellent), and with ultimately deeply-throated grunts / growls – all this before almost erupting, soon after, into a hammering, thunderous and even blackened-thrashing tornado of warlike Death Metal. There is a fierce attitude of performance, and in combination with the smooth variation in tempo and structure, it works addictively well.
Carve The Wound shows the technical craftsmanship of this band, by adding these specific elements – especially within the guitar sound – that exceed the plain execution of the grey masses. Still, do not expect some sudden avantgarde revelation; but enjoy those specific elements, like the cool bass lines, that fine-tuned guitar solo, the sudden breaks, or the pounding rhythm in general.
With Altar Of The Horn, the warlike approach gets strengthened, by adding an additional merciless, devastating power within the main structure and, especially, the intensified rhythm section. Here too, the main tempo is quite speed-up, without fading away in exaggeration, yet including some resistant accelerations at the one hand, and some abrasive sonic deductions too.
The sound quality is extremely satisfying: rough and harsh in production, yet with a well-balanced mix, giving an equally divided power to all instruments involved. But that decent production quality does not result in some cheap catchy thing, and that is nothing but a good thing! On the contrary, that equilibrium of a harsh productions and a fair mix stimulates and amplifies the concept behind this EP.
For all open-minded fans of everything in between Bolt Thrower, early Death, Asphyx, Benediction, Unleashed, Vastum, Battalion, early Pestilence, Hail Of Bullets and that kind of infernal / influential beauty…