Tyhjä – Valtakunta (Review)

Tyhjä - ValtakuntaThis is the second album from Tyhjä, a black metal band from Finland.

We’ve met Tyhjä before on their 2017 debut EP. Apparently they had an album out in 2019, which I completely missed, so this is my first exposure to them since that first release.

Tyhjä play black metal that’s raw and nasty, and has plenty of venomous bite. The songs on Valtakunta are grim and deadly, played with frozen intensity and macabre mood.

When the band play fast they’re cutting and lethal, and when they play slow you can feel the frosted atmosphere reach right out of the music and grab you with its serrated claws. Tyhjä do all paces very well, (Imperiumien Hauta is stacked with killer blackened groove, for example), but it’s the strong grasp of scathing speed and slower atmosphere that I find particularly engaging across the songs. Occasionally the band unleash an assault of piercing blackened melodies, and these lash out of the music like barbed hooks.

The style is very much a traditional one, albeit with a few other influences mixed in here and there, (dissonant, modern, crust, etc.). The songs are well-written and each has its own character. I like that Valtakunta allows each track to be strong enough to exist on its own and none of them need propping up by any of the other tracks on the album. In other words, there’s no filler here, and Valtakunta shreds flesh with contemptuous ease from the first song to the last.

If you’re a fan of classic, underground black metal, then I highly recommend Tyhjä’s latest. Valtakunta is a 34-minute blizzard of cold sharp knives, and it’s a pleasure to listen to.

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