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Album Reviews : Woe of Tyrants – Threnody

By on May 8, 2010

2743034It’s hard to listen to a melodic death metal band at the moment without comparing them to our very own Be’lakor. Woe of Tyrants don’t quite reach the dizzy heights Be’lakor achieved with Stone’s Reach, but if you can get that album out of your head for 45 minutes there’s a lot to like about Threnody.

The production is tip-top. There are a couple of brief acoustic interludes scattered throughout the album but 99% is performed at a frantic pace. The guitar duo of Nick Dozer and Matt Kincaid provide a remarkable and diverse performance, incorporating traditional metal riffs such as in “Telestai”, driving power metal riffs in “Venom Eye” and intricate tremolo picked melodies in the title track. Vocalist Chris Catanzaro has a powerful tone and combines harsh lows with mid-range rasps. I really love the vocals on the title track which are delivered with extreme gusto and passion. The lyric sheet is interesting reading also. However, the first thing that grabs your attention on this album is the amazing drumming. Johnny Roberts on drums is monstrous and his double kick attacks are relentless. Unfortunately, the bass is so far back in the mix it’s hard to make a judgement.

There are some other highlights I need to mention:
•The brief intro “Telestai” has a riff that will inhabit your headspace for days. It makes another appearance towards the end of the second song “Creatures of the Mire” which is an absolute powerhouse! Great way to kick things off.
•Towards the end of the album, when you’re anticipating a bit of filler, they turn out two killer tracks in “Singing Surrender” and “Descendit Ad Inferos” – a great finish to a good album.

Unfortunately, there are also a couple of negatives:
•The song “Tempting the Wretch” is a complicated series of multiple tempo changes which just sounds awkward to me. There are some great riffs and melodies in this song but they don’t sit on any of them long enough and to top it off there are some dreadful clean vocals at the end of the song which will make you cringe.
•Their use of the sub-drop is over the top. I hate this sound effect and there are no less than twelve scattered throughout the album. Most of the songs have at least one but “Bloodsmear” and “Creatures of the Mire” score three each. It kind of makes the Tyrants sound like kids who’ve discovered a new toy.

It probably won’t make the top 10’s at the end of the year but I found Threnody to be a nice surprise. It took a few spins to get into but it won’t leave the playlist for quite some time now. 7.5 / 10

Band: Woe of Tyrants
Album: Threnody
Year: 2010
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Origin: USA
Label: Metal Blade/Riot!

Track listing:
1. Tetelestai
2. Creatures Of The Mire
3. Venom Eye
4. Tempting The Wretch
5. Threnody
6. Bloodsmear
7. The Venus Orbit
8. Lightning Over Atlantis
9. Singing Surrender
10. Descendit Ad Inferos (The Harrowing Of Hell)

Reviewed by Pete Williams


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.