Tyrann Fights for the Soul of Metal With “Djävulens Musik” (Early Album Stream)
Despite a bevy of new heavy metal bands across the last couple of decades, there has never been a particularly strong predilection in any scene towards the classic Swedish heavy metal scene from the ‘80s. Bands like Heavy Load and Gotham City are seen as titans of heavy metal, and it’s hard to escape patches and shirts from both at any festival like Keep it True or Frost and Fire—but there aren’t many contemporary bands running with that sound, with most preferring other niches, like USPM revivalism, epic heavy metal, or Maiden clonery. Sure, there are bands here and there doing that kind of thing, but most of them aren’t very good and there are not a ton around in the first place.
Enter Tyrann. Formed from members of large, active touring bands (Tribulation and Enforcer, among others), Tyrann represents a more niche outlet for the heavy metal passion of several stalwart heavy metal maniacs. Djävulens Musik makes it obvious what they’ve been listening to on the road in between shows: this is some of the most authentic Swedish-styled heavy metal to surface in quite some time, with each riff delivering a heavy metal sword straight to the heart and delightfully raw and passionate vocals slaying over the top. In a world of bands determined to do what needs to be done to "make it", these already-successful metal stars making such delightfully obscure music is a pleasure that deserves to be heard.
Check out the exclusive full album premiere and an interview with the band below.
Tell me a bit about how Djävulens Musik came together.
The main part of the songs for "Djävulens Musik" were written in 2019 and we started to record the album in March 2020. The sessions were spread out during the year and I think we recorded the last parts in November.
The intention with "Djävulens Musik" is to bring back the raw energy that the genre once had. That energy is lost in most heavy metal of today.
There’s a clear influence from the classic heavy metal of the ‘80s Swedish scene present. Was it that scene’s rawness and sincerity that drew you guys to it, or something else?
Yes, the sincerity and feeling from Swedish bands like Jonah Quizz, mixed with the energy from bands like Hellhammer and Tormentor. That's the energy we wanna translate into the music.
A good example is the song "Heavy Metal Mania" by the British band Holocaust. That's what I'm talking about!
Most of the song titles, including the album title, are in Swedish, but many of the lyrics are in English. How did you decide which sections to do in which language, and why did you decide to handle it the way you did?
I'm a language nerd to start with, so I really like the fun and creative challenge to make the language mix work. The mix between Swedish and English adds a certain strange feeling to the songs that I really like. From the start it was not planned which sections that was going to be in English or Swedish. It was just what felt right at the moment to be honest.
Did the other guys have any input on the lyrics and themes that you sing about?
On this album I happened to write all the lyrics, except "Don't Make Fashion Of Our Heavy Metal Passion" which I wrote with Hanna Kretz. But the other guys can of course have input on the lyrics.
Everyone in the band is either a current or former member of one or more extremely active touring bands. How does Tyrann make the time commitment for making music given your other bands?
Since Tyrann don't really rehearse, and don't plan to play live, time is no problem, and I don't think it will be a problem in the future either. And when it comes to recording in the studio, everyone involved is pretty effective. So time is not really a big issue to be honest.
A sort of catchphrase of the band has been "Don't Make Fashion of Our Heavy Metal Passion." It appears in the lyrics of your eponymous song, has been on layouts, and is now the name of a new standalone song. Where does it come from, and what does it mean to you guys past the obvious?
It means that if you are gonna play heavy metal you have to mean it.
There is no room for another boring band who thinks that just twin-lead guitars and high pitch vocals is enough to make top-drawer heavy metal. These bands just devalue our genre. They need to understand that heavy metal always must be raw. Even the ballads need a raw energy.
Does that attitude tie into the band’s stripped-down approach to aesthetics and artwork?
Yeah, I guess so, because the artwork should always go hand in hand with the music. Stripped-down artwork fits raw music.
When I think about it, almost all of my favorite covers happen to be very basic. Like the first Bathory album, Transilvanian Hunger, Unknown Pleasures, Venom's two first records and so on.
Where did the art concept itself come from?
I'm a huge fan of fight sports and I came up with the idea for the art concept when I was watching a classic boxing fight on TV. I actually had the idea for the cover long before the album was recorded, and one day it hit me that it would fit perfectly for the LP.
How did you decide to do the full length with Electric Assault Records and Inti Records? Were there other offers?
Electric Assault Records was the label we wanted for the album. Henry, who runs the label, is very serious and very easy to work with. We talk about music and records in the same way, and we often have the same ideas for the releases. That's my opinion at least.
I have worked with Henry since 2014 I think, when he released the first Terminal 7". Jakobs other band, Second Sun, also did a couple of releases on Electric Assault a few years back. So it felt natural to go with this label.
The same goes with Knight of Diamond records that releases the album on cassette. We want all our songs to be released on cassette as well as vinyl, and Staffan who runs the label is very serious about his releases. Both labels are awesome to work with!
Tyrann re-recorded both songs from the 7" for the album. Why did you decide to revisit them?
We decided to put them on the album because we think they are strong songs that fits perfectly. The songs are not re-recorded though, just re-mastered for the album.
Was there any other material on the table for the album?
No, not really! We used all the songs we had.
What’s next for the band?
Right now we are in the process of recording a bunch of new songs. We can promise that we will deliver more top-drawer heavy metal in the future. Tyrann are just getting warmed up, just wait and see!
Djävulens Musik releases on May 28th, 2021 via Electric Assault Records.