This interview with the Finnish doom metallers Tyranny was done by e-mail by Fjordi in September 2005.

Tyranny is one of the most impressive acts in funeral doom metal scene nowadays and Tartarean Desire had to interview this Finnish band to know what is behind the fantastic “Tides Of Awakening” album the band has recently released. Read please...

Terve! The new album is still better than “Bleak Vistae”, which was already hell of a release. What has been the main improvement for this quantum leap? Gear, time, budget, inspiration?
Greetings, and thank you for the compliments. Both albums have been recorded with the same gear and equipment, our knowledge and experience in audial massacre has increased somewhat, so the channeling of Tyranny into actual album can now be performed with even more intensity. And the fact that the recordings took a different approach this time, differing from Bleak Vistae which was more of a band-oriented composition-wise. Tides of Awakening has been built layer by layer, during a time-period which lasted more than a year, so we had quite alot of time to fine-tune and experiment with different things. Bleak Vistae songs were rehearsed during years 2001-2003 and recorded in a very short and intesive session. Both methods differ but are equally effective. As for budget, there never was any.

“Tides Of Awakening” is at the same time disturbing and pleasant, Iīd like to know what feelings do you had when creating the songs. It was like “letīs make tidal, depressive music to immerse the listener into gloomy lands and experience a sort of catharsis”, or do you intended to make songs so the listener could find solace and relief in his misery?
First of all, we donīt compose any music directly to the listeners, itīs more of a personal thing, a ritual of purification and strenghtening. So, the Catharsis sought by the music is first and foremost aimed for ourselves. The same channels created by the vistae of sound can be traversed by the casual listener, and if properly immersed, he can grasp some of the meanings and signifigance of the songs for himself, though we think listeners probably never realize the full meanings the tracks have to us, but everyone can make their own intepretations of the music and images there within. That way the songs become also personal to them in their own way.

Is inspiration drawn from some special things or feelings, or the ideas for the songs come forth in the most unexpected moments and places? Are there supernatural experiences behind the songmaking? Sort of visions in a strict sense?
Inspiration can be drawn from almost everything and then again nothing, everything around us affects on a subconscious level from the music we hear to movies we see or books we read. As for sources of inspiration within the sphere of literature, the major influence are the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and his colleagues. Our musical influenced are mainly metal based ranging from black and death metal to doom metal with some traditional heavy metal on the side, also movie soundtracks are a major source of influence. As for the more spiritual side a certain dreamlike flow is always present in our music and dreams play a significant role when we mould the songs from the ethereal matter, present are also the will of the ancient ones and the resonations of primaeval aeons, driven in the grinding sub-atonal frequencies that are the epitome of Tyranny.

Please tell me something about the lyrics, since in the promo booklet they werenīt pressed. Do they keep up the spirit of “Bleak Vistae”, where the message and aesthetics were combined? Tell us about how important is for you the message in the music, the words behind the notes.
As we mentioned earlier, HPL is main influence and the dream-sendings from the stranger entities fill the skein of lyrical output of this album. These visions are prophetic sights from not-so-far future, when aeon-cycle draws to an end, and a new one begins, rampant with mysteries and foreboding sinistrous cryptical meaning. The timeless reign of Great Old Ones will be reinstated and humankind will struggle in throes of cataclysmic upheavals when earth strains to release the ancient past from the churning seas and from the underground tombs crawling with hoary beings from before the forming of the continents from scorching lava. This album is thematically as complete as Bleak Vistae was, with lyrical and visual implications strongly tied together. Where Bleak Vistae was of personal transcendance, Tides of Awakening is more towards the likeness of itīs name, the great tidal wave which pours into the consciousness washing away the sanity of the cultures, leaving mankind free to enjoy and kill under the strain of a stranger will.

Is the process of the songmaking related to Finland and its traits as a country in any way? Does Finland have an environment (culture, landscapes, way of thinking) that fits in your concept of music, or that has nothing to do at all?
We think that our music spans greater than any cultural borders, but nonetheless we are deeply influenced by the cultural melanholic heritage of Finland. Our goal is not to emphasize cultural aspects, but someone with rampant imagination might link the bleak northern expanses with the minimalistic majesty of our songs, and the cryptical woods and thickets with the brooding atmoshpere ever-present in our soundscapes. We have supped deep of the ageless cultural wells of Finland, more on a subconscious and personal level, which in turn probably reflects into the music.

What effects do you want to cause in the listener through your music?
Bearing in mind that we do compose for ourselves, the casual listener will coalescence with the music and be mercilessly grinded until he wimps out or submits to the audial tidal waves and torturous pounding, then he might perish or attain a state of understanding the roaring vistae, this is due to the subliminal hooks that rip the the spirit of one afflicted by the musickness. They are present in the basslines and the lead guitars and the howling of the orchestrations, biding their time to sink into the unsuspecting "flesh" and tearing it apart in cosmic transcendance. The ideal situation is to listen with headphones or better yet, with equipment that allows you to feel the music with your whole body, thus dipping into the musical maelstorm and discovering the subliminal untapped richness therewithin, the music contains much more than one might discern with superficial glance.

Music for you is: a) a strife against elements and life itself; b) a way to express unique feelings; c) a quite relevant hobby; d) a way of life; e) none of the above.
Itīs not that simple to categorize it, itīs all of the above and none of it, letīs just say itīs a way of transcendance and leave it to that.

Iīm quite intrigued about the cover concept of both of your albums, “Bleak Vistae” and this one. Could you please explain whatīs behind the art on these pictures? What is holding in his hands the man arising from the waters in “Bleak Vistae”, for example?
The visual disclosure is self-made and therefore the same goes as for the music, itīs for everyone to draw their own interpretations from them, that leaves so much more space for the imagination and the limitless possibilities created by the human mind. Merely explaining them wont do, your own conclusions and the images created are what matter in this. They both are as finely tuned as the music itself, thematically bound visual form of the audial scapes, meaning that the artwork is straight continuation of the music.

The main obstacle in the beginning of Tyranny as a band has been...
DIscovering the ways to capture the audial essence of Tyranny with just us two, and to become skilled in ways that we are undependant of any outside help, with the performing of the music and controlling the production and recordings. We are self-taught and capable of doing everything besides the actual releasing and distribution, which is more of a financial thing. We leave it gladly to the label. On a side mark, our current label has done their job more than well.

Iīd like to know whether you consider Tyranny as a doom metal band or thatīs a label youīre uncomfortable with.
We have no interest to argue about how our music should categorized, genrelabels are something of a guideline for new listeners to gain some common ground on what to expect from a new and unknown band. In a traditional sense we are not doom, our music has probably more in common with Burzum than St. Vitus besides the slow tempo. But we indeed do consider ourselves as a metal band and that will never change.

Are you into ultra doom metal scene? If so, what do you think about the latest works from bands like Esoteric or Skepticism?
They both are great bands and we enjoy their music very much.

What are the main lacks you find in the new funeral doom bands, and in the newer metal bands in general?
Looking at the age of the genre, we ourselves are a qiute young band to comment on these kind of things, but as invidiuals who have been into the music for quite a long time we could say that the general half-assed feeling of the newer bands really draws down the whole genre. Unimaginative bedroom-projects and people "riding on the wave" are just frustrating to listen to. We do not say that these couldnīt evolve into really interesting bands but at the moment funeral doom trend (although being on a very small scale) should just fucking die. The weak ones will die by themselves, this is something that prevails in all genres of music, and in music, might is right.

Do you believe ultra doom fits in concerts, or is rather a style made for being listened only at the CD player?
Having witnessed some ultra doom gigs we can say that the destructive force of the music does indeed manifest itself also in live performances, and might even give stronger experience. The audience should also be in a suitable state of mind, but letīs face it, there are people that can never handle this kind of experience. Listening same on a CD can be as intense experience, but of a different kind.

Are you fond of interviews?
Itīs sometimes hard to explain personal things in a language we handle only so well. Making interviews is really taxing and stressfull situation for us aswell, and we have to prepare for them beforehand. Letīs just say that we are ready to make some but enough is enough.

Tyranny hasnīt an official website yet. Tell us the reasons of this: lack of interest/time, perhaps?
We release only information we deem relevant, so having a homepage didnīt seem really essential. However, there exists a minimal page with some soundsamples, it can be thought of as a "official" site. Expect no updates.

Nothing else to say by my side. Just thank you for your music and answering this interview. Tell us some words if you wish. Kiitos!
We think that covers it. And to all likeminded people we say: HAIL TO YOU!

Links of interest:

Firebox Records