Woe Of Tyrants - Threnody (Metal Blade/Riot)

With so many decent 'deathcore' albums in circulation, was there really any point in producing something so MOR?
Release Date: 
13 Apr 2010 (All day)

Having not heard Woe Of Tyrants before, I got a bit excited to read them being compared to The Black Dahlia Murder and Between The Buried And Me, two bands that have impressed me greatly in the past.

Threnody opener Tetelestial rebuffs the recent trend within this genre of gore-soaked horror movie-style intros but immediately the intensity seems to be missing. Drummer Johnny Roberts is undoubtably a talented son of a bitch but the sound is so clean that his blasts might as well come from a machine.

Creatures of The Mire picks up the missing intensity somewhat and gives Chis Catanzo a chance to flex his vocal chords but again, the grunts and screams don't touch the quality of the likes of Trigger The Bloodshed's Johnny Burgan. Catanzo gets a good deep tone but essentially it's all a bit middle of the road.

There are some genuinely odd moments in Threnody, particularly Venom Eye, a song that musically could be off of any recent Dragonforce album. Even the wanky solo gets a show, only it's nowhere near as tight as the much-hated 'Force axemen. We also get a more Coalesce-themed break in Tempting The Wretch which is resplendant with fills, off-beat musicianship but fucking dreadful backing vocals.

One of the most challenging things to do with Threnody is take it seriously if you're unfortunate enough to read Catanzo's description in the press bumf:

'The album tells a story of a non-specific individual traveling between planets searching for answers, while paralleling Satan's fall from grace to damnation at the same time. We all experience a change at some point as we travel through life...' and so on.

No it doesn't; don't be a tit.

Title track Threnody does demonstrate a slightly more cerebral musicianship, as does the Children Of Bodom-influenced style and guitar work by Nick Dozer and Matt Kincaid on Bloodsmear. This is quickly lost in The Venus Orbit which bizarrely starts off sounding like the bastard child of Michael Jackson's Beat It and does little to inspire.

A major criticism I have is the pointless overuse of the good old deathcore-massive-breakdown-bass-thump. Every now and again is fine lads but please, not every song.

Despite being an interplanetary voyage of metaphysical wonderment or whatever, Threnody is actually a bit tedious. They clearly take inspiration from a number of sources which is admirable but trying to put all of their influences into one album just means it doesn't flow at all. 

Not bad, but must try harder. And if Woe Of Tyrants stick around for another album, fingers crossed Chris Catanzo has nothing at all to do with the press spiel.

Threnody is out on 13 April on Metal Blade/Riot