Woe of Tyrants
Kingdom of Might

Ladies (if there any that read this) and Gentlemen: I give you the first album of 2009 that will be vying for a spot on my 2009 year end list.

I’ll admit, my expectations weren’t too awful high for the sophomore release from Ohio’s Christian melodeath/thrashers Woe of Tyrants as their Tribunal Records debut, Behold the Lion, was a solid, Testament inspired slab of American melodic death metal with Christian lyrics, but little else. However, with their Metal Blade debut, Kingdom of Might, Woe of Tyrants have absolutely upped their game and delivered the kind of shredding, thrashing, galloping Christian metal record that The Showdown once released.

With more of a melodic approach and less singularly paced thrash than the debut, Kingdom of Might is all about the solos-and such solos! With an almost Dragonforce/ power metal like sense of melody and wind in their hair, open shirt bravado, new (former Year of Desolation) shredder John Hehmen and holdover Matt Kincaid have injected the same sense of melody to their already furious take on melodic death metal that Chris Storey brought to All Shall Perish’s The Price of Existence-but that the only common thread between Woe of Tyrants and any sort of core-isms. Kingdom of Might is a thrashy, melodic death metal record through and through, having more in common with label mates The Absence than any core related outfit.

After epic orchestral intro “Jesu Jeva”, ” Soli Deo Gloria” lets you know this album has arrived on glorious fashion and the solo at 2:43 simply heralds the arrival of something truly special. From there on the album thrashes and shreds with a level of truly epic confidence, graceful aggression and positivity that instantly catapults the band into the elite of American metal-regardless of religious beliefs. There are so many great moments on Kingdom of Might that any myspace or last.fm previews miss, this album has to be heard in its entirety; The fiercely harmonious gallop of “Pearls Before Swine”, the soaring urgency of “Kingdom of Might (Dawn in the Darkness)”, another simply jaw dropping solo of “Sounding Jerusalem” at 1:18, Southern groove of “Sons of Thunder”, busy, swirling layers of “The Seven Braids of Samson”, balls out thrash and addictive arpeggios of “Like Jasper and Carnelian” just keep me coming back for more and more, and each time my level of enjoyment never changes. My only minor gripe is that I wish the album had ended on something more epic or closure inducing than the fierce “Golgotha” – just something to bookend “Jesu Jeva” and signal the completion of brilliance.

The switch from Jamie King to Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada), has made the sound ‘bigger’, the drumming of Johnny Roberts is death metal tight and the vocals of Chris Catanzaro are direct and appropriately growly, free from clean croons and the end result is simply a grin inducing album that all fans of metal, regardless of religious beliefs should check out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 24th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Staylow

    This album is full of win. One of my faves so far this year. Great review Erik.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    this album is pretty cool, I find it hilarious that a Christian band is as fast and brutal as Vital Remains.

    However, the beginning of Soli de Gloria sounded reaaaaaaally familiar to me, until I put my finger on it – the opening melody (it appears again at the end) is the same exact melody from the closing minutes of “Renhetens Elv” off Extol’s first album, Burial.

    Maybe it’s actually a Christian hymn or something, which explains why both bands (both Christian) would use it.

  3. Commented by: WoeOfTyrants

    Well Thank You For The Review

  4. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Heard the new one today- another winner.

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