Sunday, 25 October 2009

CD Review: Kingdom of Might, by Woe of Tyrants (2009)

On their major-label debut CD (and second overall), Ohio's Woe of Tyrants deliver a mix of technical and melodic metal that sometimes reaches exquisite heights of brilliance, while just as often wallowing in tuneless mediocrity. And these swings in inspiration often occur on the same track.

Witness the outstanding introduction to Soli Deo Gloria, which then quickly descends into a monotonous bashing; or the magnificent introduction and ending of Break the Fangs of the Wicked, dragged down by a featureless mid-section. Sounding Jerusalem includes a passage that promises a launch into a stratospheric journey, but it quickly lands in a boring thud. The Seven Braids of Samson offers nothing for three and half minutes but finishes with a steel-melting solo that travels from Ohio to Finland at the speed of light.

There are a few tracks on Kingdom of Might that never emerge out of the maniacal franticness, and the worst one is Kingdom of Might (The Eclipse) which achieves exactly nothing at the expense of massive energy.

At the same time, the instrumental track Sons of Thunder is close to brilliant, while Like Jasper and Parnelian does achieve spine-tingling magnificence despite some messiness in the structure and transitions. When Woe of Tyrants are good, they evoke a mouth watering triangular marriage of Iron Maiden's twin-guitar harmonies; Kalmah's lead guitar supremacy and the best of Unearth's metalcore strength. They just don't achieve their highest potential too often.

It is not clear yet if Woe of Tyrants want to be labelled as Christian metal or not, but there certainly are enough clues in the track titles, lyrics, and band member notes in the high-quality CD booklet to suggest strong positive religious tones.

Hopefully the band matures from here and focuses on developing more structured melodies and more coherent tracks, more often.


Chris Burns - Guitar
Johnny Roberts - Drums
Adam Kohler - Bass
Matt Kincaid - Guitar
Chris Catanzaro - Vocals

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Jesu Juva - n/a (short instrumental)
2. Soli Deo Gloria - 7
3. Break the Fangs of the Wicked - 8
4. Pearls Before Swine - 6
5. Kingdom of Might (The Eclipse) - 5
6. Kingdom of Might (Dawn in the Darkness) - 7
7. Sounding Jerusalem - 7
8. Sons of Thunder - 9
9. The Seven Braids of Samson - 7
10. Like Jasper and Parnelian - 10
11. Golgotha - 6

Average: 7.20

Produced by Woe of Tyrants and Joey Sturgis.
Engineered and Mastered by Joey Sturgis.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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