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Review

Tyrmfar – Renewal Through Purification Review

Band: Tyrmfar
Album: Renewal Through Purification
Label: MTAF Records
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Country: Switzerland
Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

The sophomore slump is a real threat. Following up a debut can make or break a band. No one wants their debut to be considered a fluke if it’s good. The second album is the best chance to prove that an artist has vision and staying power. While I am not completely sold on this new Tyrmfar record, I can confidently say this album has established a solid reputation for this band.

There is a lot of ambition displayed here. Several songs on this album are grandiose and contain stories or character portraits. The entire record sounds like the score for a fantasy movie or novel. This sound is instantly clear from the intro, The Arrival…. The song is highly cinematic and features massive horns, strings, and war drums. I think the emphasis on melody also helps keep the grandeur of this album present, particularly when it comes to the vocals. They are easily the most consistent aspect of the album and are usually low death growls, blackened wretches, or a hellish combination of the two. Songs like Rise of Chaos and The Almighty are carried by their vocal performances. While tracks like The Commander Of Death and Mountains Of Madness utilize both vocals and instrumentation to a brilliant degree. The former paints a portrait of its titular character accented by hefty riffs, nasty breakdowns, and some solid drumming. The latter is probably my favorite song on the album. It begins with an absolutely killer drum fill that brings us into a wonderful storm of guitars and drums, with one lonely lead buried in the mix. It ends with a beautiful guitar solo and wailed vocals. Musically, this album makes the most of what it brings to the table. Lots of these tracks feature distinct breakdowns, and some don’t even have vocals. Freedom’s Call is another brilliant highlight and is solely instrumental. The track is highly dynamic and contains the best breakdown on the album around the two-minute mark. At this record’s best, the songs are triumphant, cinematic, and thrilling.

However, this record does have its fault. Most prominent are the last three tracks, which are completely inessential. None of these songs present new ideas and they feel tacked on for no apparent reason. This becomes a problem because the record is almost an hour long. This album should have only had nine songs. While I do think Humanity’s End is an okay closer, it isn’t unique enough and just doesn’t have the same feeling of finality that Freedom’s Call does. There are other tracks on this album that have their share of issues. While the opener leads nicely into the second track, the song itself is uninspiring. The production is far too clean, and it eliminates any rawness that the song could have otherwise had. No Hope is a safe song that really left no impression on me. While there is a lot of good on this album, it has its share of problems.

My final complaint about this record has to do more with what Tyrmfar didn’t do. The intro is such a bold and interesting song, with a killer instrumental arrangement. Sadly, none of those instruments return. I would have loved to hear more horns or strings on this record. So many albums stick with the same old guitars, drums, and bass. It would have been wonderful to hear this band add more instruments into that formula.

Overall, I am very pleased with this release. While this record ends poorly, the other nine tracks range from decent to brilliant. This album should be considered a win for Tyrmfar and I will definitely be anticipating any new albums they release in the future.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tracklist:

  1. The Arrival…
  2. …Of The Legions Of Eternity
  3. Rise Of Chaos
  4. The Almighty
  5. No Hope
  6. The Commander Of Death
  7. Mountains Of Madness
  8. Dehumanization
  9. Freedom’s Call
  10. Living Corpses
  11. Implore The Reaper
  12. Humanity’s End

Total Playing Time: 52:00

Click here to visit Tyrmfar’s Bandcamp

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