Easily one of the most talented new acts on the Metal Blade roster, the sophomore effort from Ohio band Woe of Tyrants is superior to their debut in every conceivable way. The band's ability to deliver a hybrid of thrash, death and power metal at such a frenetic pace is staggering, especially when so many of the riffs hit the mark.
Yes, this band is quite fucking fast. The musicianship is right up there with nearly anything you'll find on the US scene. It's not just the riffs and the melodies, but there is certainly a capacity to shred when necessary. Still, despite this, they reign it in enough to actually craft catchy riffs that appeal far beyond the ADD speed requirement. After a brief intro, "Soli Deo Gloria" erupts, a hyperactive melodeath anthem with more riffs than you can shake your dick at, yet despite the unending barrage the song is quite cohesive. "Break the Fangs of the Wicked" is also lightning paced but has a few melodeath breakdowns. "Pearls Before Swine" begins with some anthemic power metal speed, then rocks out. The rest of the album is consistent, all the songs here will rock you, though I found "The Seven Braids of Samson" and "Like Jasper and Carnelian" among the best.
Thematically the band is concerned with religion, history and the human psyche. I'm not sure if there is some agenda to this album, the lyrics are written quite well though:
The darkness will not subside.
Hands are reaching at the footsteps stumbling in the night.
The stars can light the way, countless eyes ablaze.
A lamp shining truth.
In a corner roaches claim the kingdom, they scatter in the light.
With cloak of dark words, they wage this fight.
That leads me to my one single gripe...I'm not a huge fan of the vocalist. He's got that melodeath overbite you hear so common to American bands doing the melodic death or metalcore crossover style. The snarls aren't so bad, but the more gruff and guttural vocals that don't do it for me. Scaled back a little, they would be a lot better in the recording. Regardless, this is a rising star in the American metal scene, they've got the chops to rival other technical, fast bands like Protest the Hero and this sophomore effort will undoubtedly garner them some attention.
Verdict: Win [7.5/10]