Review Summary: Woe Of Tyrants bring a message of hope amidst the melodic chaos.
Arriving from the state of Ohio, Woe Of Tyrants have brought with them their second proper album, Kingdom Of Might
. With this album, the band have promised to deliver an uplifting message amidst the chaos of a melodic death metal sound. The band turn out to be quite competent and skillful when it comes to their instruments – sections of this album border the technical side of the genre – and what’s more, the band members are young themselves - each member averaging only twenty-one years of age. If the band choose to stay together, we can expect great things from the quintet in the future.
The United States has always had a sketchy history when it comes to the production of melodic death metal within its territory; excluding outliers such as Darkest Hour, most bands that originate in the country tend to merely replicate the more popular and talented bands of Sweden and Finland and fail to create very much in the terms of originality. Well such is not the case with Woe Of Tyrants, and as this album will demonstrate, there is indeed untapped talent to be found in the free states.
The album starts out forebodingly enough with the instrumental drumming of “Jesu Juva”. The piece closes on a riff born of stringed instruments; on top of which, “Soli Deo Gloria” then proceeds to enter. The track is comprised of the majority of the elements listeners will find throughout this album: melodic riffs, growled vocals, and sporadic tempo changes; as alluded to above, the work of guitarists Adam Routte and Matt Kincaid often borders the more guitar-technical side of the genre.
Being that this is melodic death metal, vocal melody does hold a certain place within in the music. The growls and snarls of Chris Catanzard are varied in timbre when it comes to a particular high or low range – he switches between the two seamlessly - and suffice it to say, his chops are serviceable and competent for the music, quickly bringing to mind the famous fathers overseas. The vocalist’s best moments, however, are found in the melodies of “Break The Fangs of The Wicked” - one particular line of: ”Of those who won’t fight, of those who can’t fight”
is sure to remain in the minds of listeners – and in the call-response dynamic he incorporates in “Sounding Jerusalem”, where he displays his command range for a positive effect.
The lyrics of the album are actually an interesting subject. Assuming a listener has known nothing about the band beforehand, one listen to Kingdom Of Might
may have left the impression that the band were out to rage a brutal and violent war as many other bands in the genre have done so in the past. Well to be honest, a war is indeed being raged here – albeit a defensive war – and the band prove to be quite skilled when it comes to hiding
hopeful and uplifting messages within the lyrics:”Pray for cleansing and wisdom in dark times, even when it doesn't shine, but it burns with light”
...”Father of dreams, pick up the broken wings; and fill the spaces, where fallen saints are lacking, bring us visions, visions of our true home”
…”Cry out Samson, see without eyes. Cry out Samson, see without eyes. In all winds, seek anchor, the storm will soon be still,”
all of which are just examples among many. Given the hopeful messages amidst the chaos and the many references to biblical characters and events, I wouldn’t be surprised if the members were indeed Christians themselves.
Kingdom Of Might
is a great piece of melodic death metal. The instrumentals are suitable for the music, and these can only be improved upon with more time and practice. Woe Of Tyrants prove that the States aren’t devoid of promising melodic death metal bands, and what’s more, they establish that bands with a hopeful message and can make great music in this genre do happen to exist. Being as this is only the young band’s second album, and a great one at that, I’m excited to see what the future holds from these boys from Ohio.