Unslayable with Tyrannus

Tyrannus are a Scottish antifascist band that formed in 2018. They have recently released their debut album, Unslayable, in partnership with Creative Scotland, The National Lottery and True Cult Records.

The album title is a word that describes both the protagonists and antagonists of the story of the album. The omnipotent threat, which the squid represents, could be considered unplayable as it is simply too all-encompassing and all-consuming to be killed by mortals. At the same time, mortals must become unplayable to have a chance of ridding all of the creation of this monster. The lyrics tell a loosely tied narrative of mortals suffering and being trapped in deceptions created by the monster for it to feed on mortal life, coming to an epiphany of the malignant presence and then trying to find a way to come together and kill it and anyone who would fight for it. It’s music based on a dark atmosphere and visceral feeling that can impact you quite heavily. This type of music lends itself well to power fantasy, escapism and creative narratives.

Black metal is both the stereotypical image of heavy metal and the logical conclusion for anyone’s true heavy metal fandom. If you are both a fan of heavy metal and a songwriter, and you are looking to find the most of what the genre has to offer in terms of something raw, emotional and powerful, you will end up into black metal sooner or later.

No other genre of music, never mind metal, confronts its listener so fiercely with themselves. It’s a double-edged sword, though, as whilst that type of confrontation can produce some of the greatest art ever made, some people aren’t ready for that confrontation and become twisted by it, which results in many black metal controversies.

As I said above, those who aren’t ready to be confronted with themselves become twisted. This is why misanthropy and nihilism have become common themes in the genre. I find them ultimately wildly misplaced to what black metal should be about uniting people and empowering them in togetherness. Tyrannus is about making powerful music to empower others.

As a teenager, I was attracted to the sound and raw power I could feel from bands like Slayer and Megadeth. It took a long time for me to get into black metal as the scene at the time in Scotland played up far too much to the superiority complexes found in second-wave black metal. When I listened to Barshasketh for the first time around 2018, I finally understood the point of black metal as the common aesthetics were removed for something much more nuanced and grand.

Again, coming back to this whole philosophy of confronting one’s self, there have been points in my life where I have had to consider who I was and what I would become. I made many mistakes through my teenage years and 20s, which I had to eventually answer for, sometimes in lifestyle changes and sometimes in my core beliefs. Who I am now is a result of not being happy with myself in those moments and accepting that things had to change. Regarding creativity, I’m at war with those decisions now, trying to make the most of what I have available regarding the time and freedom I wasted before. Tyrannus is the best I can offer, as I am now and possibly ever will be.

Tyrannus’ music influence is quite far-reaching. There is black metal influence from Darkthrone and Barshasketh, but it crosses from there to bands like W.A.S.P, Carcass, and Death and out into other genres such as synthwave, soundtracks and trip-hop. It just depends on what inspires us at the time. As such, we will likely see many changes as our releases progress. It’s only natural as a creative person to want to do more than you already have. Black metal should be limitless and diverse.

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