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Tir - Persepolis (2021) - Review

Band: Tir
Album title: Persepolis
Release date: 5 March 2021
Label: Brilliant Emperor Records
Genre: Dungeon Synth, Dark Folk, Ambient

01. Daemon Of Desert (Aži)
02. Anāhid’s Miracle
03. Summoning Alborz
04. Righteous Viraz
05. The Dragon King Raised An Army
06. Mēnōg And Gētīg
07. The Stone Thrown From Činwad Bridge (Extended)
08. Sands In The Sky
09. The Song Of The Cosmos Is Heard From Persepolis
10. The Rising Shadow Of Chaos
11. Blood Red Desert
12. Welkin
13. Empire Of Stars
14. Lost To The Shadow Of Memory
15. Forgetten Prophecy (feat. Varkana)

Tir is already a well-established name in the dungeon synth and dark folk corners and just recently served us with a new epic work of art named Persepolis. This act is a project by Oytun Bektas from Turkey who now resides in Australia, and Persepolis is already his fifth official release. Even though this album is not a new record per se, it's an expanded, re-mixed, re-worked and re-imagined version of his sold-out 2019 album, The Vanished Civilization Of Xattoth. But since almost everything is changed; it has a much better-looking artwork, different song names, different sound, fresh orchestrations and two additional songs; it can be considered a new record.

Persepolis is not a typical dungeon synth, nor is a typical dark folk album, it has these elements, but it's much more. The album offers cinematic and deeply evocative soundscapes that embrace the darkness but yet are full of light. It's a concept about the lost civilization Xattoth, is about mankind who was once on another journey, one found rooted in the ancestors of the ancient past. The 15 instrumental tracks of Persepolis nicely and vividly send the listener on a dark sonic journey through the ancient lands, battles and struggles of people in the long-forgotten and never recorded past.

The interesting song structures are dynamic, with captivating, immersive melodies and a poignant atmosphere. It's quite original, even though some early Mortiis influences are present. Because of many dark folk romantic elements, and lush symphonic orchestration there are resemblances with Empyrium, as well as Summoning and with the ambient side of Burzum. The most interesting track on this album, the epic masterpiece "The Stone Thrown from Činwad Bridge", has a part that reminds me of Therion's "Siren Of The Woods", even though that here's no metal at all. The songs are nicely flowing, but I find a couple of shorter ones a little bit too scatty and sometimes out of the line, while the longer ones are masterpieces.

Tir made an esoteric album that can captivate many different listeners. Fans of dark ambient, dungeon synth, neo-folk, cinematic music, martial, Nordic folk in the vein of Wardruna, medieval music in the vein of Askii, and neoclassical music in the style of Savfk will find a lot for themselves here. All the songs are mystical and esoteric, while some thrown in chants add a veil of melancholy. Tir also knows how to manipulate listeners imagination and emotions when serving with some multi-dimensional-layered sonic parts, like in the ominous "Blood Red Desert".

The cinematic "Sands In The Sky" is like a walk through the desert when the sand storm is raging, while the deep cosmic darkness of "The Song Of The Cosmos Is Heard From Persepolis" is a unique voyage into the mysterious depths of the universe. The Celtic folk elements, like in the short "Empire Of Stars" or the oriental vibes throughout the record add certain playfulness to the whole thing. The plentitude of different instruments and sounds is in harmony and transcends the borders of what you are used to hearing inside this kind of genre. Each song offers a different kind of dynamics, yet similar in its core, and unfortunately, it doesn't feel like a concept at all, but more like a compilation with tracks from different albums. The songs on Persepolis are just like short stories about the same thing expressed differently. I enjoyed this musical opus very much, it's dense in the atmosphere, vibrant and accessible. The only thing that I miss here is some more cohesiveness, but still, this album is highly recommended to everyone who wants to go on a journey into the ancient lands, and to those who like the above-mentioned bands and artists.

The review was written by Tomaz
Rating: 8/10