Tyrant - Official Website

Mean Machine

Germany Country of Origin: Germany

1. Free For All
2. We Stay Free
3. Making Noise And Drinking Beer
4. Ready For Love
5. Wanna Make Love
6. Tyrant
7. Invaders
8. Grapes Of Wrath
9. Blood Suckin' Woman
10. Killer Cat

Review by Felix on June 4, 2024.

Tyrant appeared on the surface of Teutonic metal with their debut “Mean Machine” in 1984. Given this fact, they belonged to the bands that released an album at the beginning of the metallic emancipation of Germany. Consider that the debuts of Kreator or Sodom were released in 1985 and Destruction had “only” an EP under their belt in 1984. In this year, only Living Death came already out of the studio with a full-length, the first thrash album from Germany, if I am not mistaken. Okay, Running Wild released “Gates to Purgatory “ in 1984 as well, but firstly it was just five day before the end of the year and secondly, the band has catapulted itself into absolute meaninglessness during the last decades. Anyway, just like Rock’n Rolf’s circus, Tyrant did not pray to the gods of thrash. The powerful, straight and quite fast opener points into this direction, but the longer the output lasts, the more the traditional elements gain the upper hands. It goes without saying that Accept were an influence (for example the main riff of “I’m Ready” leaves no doubt in this context), even though the will to explore new, pretty extreme territories cannot be totally ignored as well. It is not only the idiotic, Manowar-inspired artwork that wants to be cruel and dangerous. The lead vocals also sound edgy and aggressive and the music is based on a very filthy charm.

The lyrics are not satanic or overly brutal. Instead, sex plays an important role and this ordinary approach also was an indicator for a pretty traditional way of proceeding. A woman’s more or less lustful moaning in “Wanna Make Love” was a very cheap effect to illustrate the lyrical orientation of the band. Surprisingly, however, the band was already satisfied with half a portion of sex, or how is the line “one night, one (!) tit” to be understood? Even 40 years after the song has seen the light of day for the first time, this remains a mystery to me; some people seem to be very frugal. Less enigmatic was the way of proceeding of the sound engineer. “Mean Machine” is dominated by the muscular guitar sound and the vocals also have enough room to make an impact. The drums are there, the bass is nearly not audible – a typical production of its time, but a good one and even in 2024, it still sounds fairly fresh. I guess that’s more than one could expect back in 1984.

This still fresh mix does not mean that the compositions have conserved their youthfulness. One can call the songs, at least from nowadays point of view, down-to-earth, traditional or just outdated. Every attribute is correct to a certain extent. I like the rasping guitars of the comparatively serious “Grapes of Wrath”, the opener is a nice rocket and there are only one or two tracks that I would throw into the bin. Like almost any other band from my homeland, Tyrant’s approach also reflected a certain naivety back in 1984. But this was no drama, everything was better than any form of f**king krautrock. Generic metal freaks who do not shy away from conventional song patterns can enjoy this output as a representative document of the times, although it is no wonder that it did not reach the status of stylistically comparable tracks like “Balls to the Wall” or “Heavy Metal Breakdown”.

Rating: 6.8 out of 10