Review: Woe Of Tyrants – Threnody

Artist: Woe Of Tyrants
Album: Threnody
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Metal Blade

Since forming in early 2004, Ohio metallers Woe Of Tyrants have set out with one goal in mind. That goal? To create a chaotic and aggressive sound that’s played at maximum speed, while conveying a positive message. Their debut album Behold The Lion, achieved just that and managed to help them attain a multi-album deal with distinguished label, Metal Blade. Shortly after signing they began writing their first critically acclaimed worldwide release, Kingdom Of Might, which only further exemplified their objective. Woe Of Tyrants possess the energy and passion of youth but maintain a musicianship that further extends their years. They spent the entirety of 2009 traveling the US on a myriad of tours. Despite their grueling schedule they find themselves back in the studio writing their forthcoming release, Threnody, on Metal Blade.

Fulfilling one of their ambitions Woe Of Tyrants built the backbone of Threnody around a thought provoking conceptual message. The album title directly reflects the message as it means a song or hymn inspired by the grief of losing someone you love. Threnody illustrates a story of an individual’s expedition between planets merely searching for answers. The basis of the album reflects basic human experiences through the changes we undergo as we travel through life. These changes, whether subtle or drastic, will either restore contentment or leave us in a disgusted state of mind. In short, Threnody is an anguishing story of losing oneself due to the nostalgic memories of a past happiness.

Musically, Threnody is a continuation to its predecessors but exhibits a naturally progressed sound. The most notable change is frontman Chris Catanzaro’s refined delivery. He extends his template by offering a more diverse mix of deep growls and higher registered shrieks.  Woe Of Tyrants continue to uphold their specialty of delivering their aggressive sound at a snarling speed. Guitarists Matt Kincaid and Nick Dozer unleash a strenuous duel attack of blazing melodies that never fail to impressive. They provide equal parts of grooves, speed and soloing and have turned up their shredding to maximum levels to prove they are more technical than ever. Making a guest appearance, guitarist Dustie Waring from Between the Buried and Me enhances the onslaught by executing a fire-breathing, intricate solo on “Venom Eye.” Drummer Johnny Roberts consistently barrels in with a pummeling frenzy of blast beats and intensity. His vigorous double bass work is especially noteworthy on, “Creatures of the Mire,” and “Lighting Over Atlantis.”

Alone each track delivers with precision, but as a whole they tend to blend together and leave little monumental moments to differentiate between songs. Another downfall is the instrumental opener, “Tetelestai,” which left little anticipation for the rest of the album but “Creatures of the Mire,” followed restoring hope. The aggressive style continues with “Tempting the Wretch,” that showcases Catanzaro’s articulate growl which towards the end is matched with the only clean singing in the collection. Album titled track, “Threnody,” takes a dynamic shift by opening acoustically with melodic, light guitar picking layered over a haunting keyboard line. Just as you think the song is destined to be an interlude the heavy music intercedes and welcomes you back into the hyperspeed thrashing.  “Singing Surrender,” is the most notable track and demonstrates their impressive songwriting skills. The song opens chugging and takes a mood shift with a melodic keyboard section.

Woe Of Tyrants are known for their blazing melodies and fiery harmonies and Threnody is no exception. Their tireless devotion pays off and it is evident with their outstanding musicianship. Between the sharp leads and relentless drumming this album is nothing short of intense. Be sure to pick up Threnody when it releases worldwide on April 13th.

8.5/10

Review written by: Nerissa Judd

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