France’s Years of Tyrants blends together Technical Death Metal and Deathcore at varying aggressive speeds. Their debut, Leading the Blind, billed as an EP, is now available through Kaotoxin Records, offering some surprisingly crushing material from a group that has plenty of potential, but only after “Stronger Than All.” This shorter piece goes nowhere and does nothing but show off how technical they can be for the sake of technicality and showmanship. It’s a waste, and sadly not the only time, especially given how catchy the groove fused “Interlude” powerfully somber, war-themed, bullet riddled “Leading the Blind” tracks end up.
But, damn can it tear your face right off when not being overly complicated. “Through Infamy” weaves together a symphonic cacophy of brutality that is only faulted by the slight washout on the cymbals. That doesn’t matter to the punishing, rapid fire bass kick fueled “Infestation of Larvae,” assaulting you with technical chords, but more reliant on timing to bludgeon your senses from the inside out while banging your head to the slower groove sections this and many others have. These alone make Leading the Blind an absolute must for any Technical Death Metal fan, even though a few breakdowns are a bit vapid and pointless.