Review Summary: Essentially, it's just more of what made Kingdom of Might so good to begin with.
Woe of Tyrants offer a fairly interesting, unique deal as a band for this type of Swedish-deviant styling: uplifting, well-played, American melodic death metal – emphasis placed on the American
part. Last year saw the Ohio quintet peaking early on in the market of brazen guitar slingers and sore-throat growlers with Kingdom of Might
, a sophomore release more intent on strengthening the band’s blend of fairly technical melodic sounds that were first heard on label-grabber Behold The Lion
than actually moving the band ahead of US peers Darkest Hour
and The Absence
. Optimistic critics raved that Woe of Tyrants were young and housed a stockpile of brewing potential, following up positive write-ups with lines like ‘the next album is sure to be knockout!
’. The scoffers, in turn, filtered the band’s promising, if generic distortion mix as a run-of-the-mill, years-old recipe that’s already decaying in its grave and is better left as it currently is: dead. I, sitting somewhere nicely in the middle, said the album was great and left it at that, expecting no more from third album Threnody
than what I had gotten with Kingdom of Might
I wasn’t disappointed. Threnody
masks a depressive lyrical message more weighty than that of the championing and hopeful Kingdom of Might
with, essentially, the same sonic elements – along with a few production touch-ups to center and well-round things a bit. Vocalist Chris Catanzaro, once again, stands on top of everything instrumental as he did in the past outing; this time, though, throwing reminiscing, growling thoughts of happier times with enough passion and agonized sentiment that he could be easily mistaken for the common death stereotype of an evil and bloody hell raiser. The main emphasis here, actually, despite a move that seemingly favors Catanzaro in the mix, is the work of guitarists Nick Dozer and Matt Kincaid. The duo spin speedy, technical guitar mazes that fall a fair bit below the line of such blistering masters like The Faceless
’ Steve Jones or Michael Keene, true, but still stand a head taller than the work of Darkest Hour
. The fairly infectious guitar melodies of Kingdom of Might
are here as well. However, as was the rule of the day for that album, Catanzaro’s melodies often feel spottily thrown on top of the work of Dozer and Kincaid, rather than seemingly flowing concisely and smoothly with the pair.
Despite an at times questionable integration of vocal melodies, Woe of Tyrants seem to still have a knack for crafting an album that flows almost too
well as a whole. Points of distinguished interest are hard to come by on Threnody
- with possibly the title track, Egyptian-vibe interlude “The Venus Orbit”, and ultimate-closer “Descendit Ad Inferos (The Harrowing Of Hell)” standing out from the bunch. This makes for an experience that works best as a straight-through, forty-minute listening session, as tracks one-four, six, eight, and nine merely throw slight deviations in their vocal and guitar melodies to distinguish themselves from one another. Still, one can’t argue with how well everything fits on Threnody
for Woe of Tyrants. The band are seemingly able to experiment with different time signatures – see “Descendit Ad Indferos” – varying tempos, a few keyboard touches, and a fine-played, dual-guitar element to give us another release that replicates a lot of what made Kingdom of Might
so great to begin with. That being said, progression would liked to be heard and seen from Woe of Tyrants in the future to this rumored peak of greatness
; but as for now, however, Threnody
does well in acting as a proper interlude piece to whatever the band have to offer in the future - which is an album that is presumably better, if the hyperbolic critics are to be believed.