Unique Leader Records has become a powerhouse of brutal, extreme music - constantly churning out some of the sickest releases and signing the bands with the biggest potential. One of their latest projects they've released is "Tyrannotophia" - the brand new, debut record from Distant - a crushing slamming deathcore/downtempo band from the Netherlands. The anticipation for this record has been building as I anxiously awaited this release, knowing it was going to possess some of the wickedest filth we would be able to get our hands on, and I'm so happy to say "Tyrannotophia" lives up to the hype, and more! The band has been around for a fuckin' minute, but this is their debut full length and it is just destined to take the band to new heights; throughout the albums eleven tracks, you'll be greeted with some of the everything we love about this style of music. "Tyrannotophia" is one album you're not going to want to sleep on this summer.
To kick off this massive record, the intro track "The Blind Prophecy" throws you right into an evil breakdown that is a perfect teaser for the chaos that is about to unfold over the following tracks. Simple yet effective, it's power and demand is thrown right in your face as it leads into the first full track "Zeroten" that kicks off right away with pure fucking filth. The shriek you first hear - followed by these sick china hits -lead beautifully into this perfect-for-headbanging beast of a song. Armed with Harry Davies of Drifted and Ben Mason of Bound In Fear, the breakdown at the end is this sickening compilation that will make you want to bash someone's skull into pieces. This is a common theme you'll find throughout "Tyrannotophia," just like you will on the atmospheric "False Gods." Part of what makes this song sound so fucking sick is hard to put to words, but allow me to try: it sounds like each blast of the drum has this roar that echoes out, making it sound huge. Throw this song on at full volume on a good sound system and you'll see what I mean - it's just absolutely massive. Mix this sound with some of the grooves, blast beats, and slams littered throughout "Tyrannotophia," and you'll surely find something to love about this new Distant record. My personal favorite off this beast has got to go to "Heirs of Torment" which has got this really groovy guitars that will get your head bobbing, followed by my favorite breakdown off the album that can only be described as madness. Distant brought in Lucca Schmerler of Mental Cruelty to throw down on the song, which - of course - only adds to the pure fucking filth contained within: the ending to this song is possibly the heaviest part of the album and it's sickening. If you're into the downtempo, beatdown type of sound, give "Heirs of Torment" the time to really change up your definition of brutal; I think you'll like what you find. But the chaos doesn't end there: tracks like the title track "Tyrannotophia" - which picks up the pace a little bit - "Hollows Eyes" - which slows it back down a bit - and "Abhorrence" (which brings in Fernando Del Villar of Cannibal Grandpa) continue to deliver these epic blows as Distant crush every note, every blastbeat, every demonic growl into this breakdown-filled instant classic of an album. While "Tyrannotophia" may not be the most technical and flashy album, it knows what it does and it does it well: it continues to deliver crushing blow after crushing blow, crafting this brutal sound that is sure to get crowds moving at live shows. And I'm beyond okay with that.
The final verdict: Distant have this sound that is pretty unmatched when it comes to making great mosh music. Admittedly, sometimes albums that possess elements of downtempo can sound repetitive or dull at points, but Distant do an excellent job of keeping you on your toes and eliminating dullness on their debut record. They keep it fresh and engaging, without sacrificing their ridiculously crushing sound. I fell in love with this album after my first listen the night it dropped, and keep finding myself returning to it, addicted to their sound. "Tyrannotophia" is just begging to be brought to your attention with its crushing blows, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Check out the video for "Heirs of Torment" below, and if you dig what you hear, check out the band on Facebook, grab the album off Bandcamp, or grab some merch!