If someone came up to me to define the term “heavy epic metal” and also cite an example, then I would certainly use Tyrant
ahead of any other band I’ve come across in the field of epic metal. The reason is very simple. The kind of intensity this band possessed in both music as well as lyrical themes, I don’t see any other act which could have come even within striking distance if they ever thought of competing with this unrelenting quartet. With all due respect to Manilla Road
, Brocas Helm
, all of whom are legends, Tyrant
on the other hand was one such creature that had ammunition beyond storage capacity to slay every single soul in sight and almost mercilessly. If their debut album owed more to the traditional territory of genres, this one is a lot heavier and the production helps their cause even further. With the release of this album titled “Too Late to Pray”, they had firmly established themselves as one of the finest bands on the Metal
The band, led by frontman Glen May, a blonde 6 foot 3 inches tall American football player, having a reputation of being a vicious sportsman is a true version of a modern day gladiator who kills without remorse and who’s mighty strong vocals truly convince the listener into believing he’s flown back in time to the medieval battle ages. His range varies from a very heavy tone right down to an almost Halford
like wail, perhaps just an octave lower and works wonders for the band. The guitar duties handled by Rocky Rockwell is another skilled warrior who creates bludgeoning riffs one after the other alongside solos that are highly captivating. He’s also credited with being the driving force behind the band as he’s the chief contributor towards the songwriting. The bass guitarist is none other than Glen’s brother, Greg whose basslines are heavy and is certainly the essential ingredient in the band’s sound. The drummer does a reasonably good job of pounding the skin without going for silly gimmicks thus keeping it tight and precise.
has always had a distinction of starting off with a revelation and the one here is their second and most probably the best they’ve done when taking all three albums into consideration. This track pretty much draws a summary of what the entire journey through the length of the album would feel like. Here’s a little lesson for all bands out there that have this uncanny habit of using the crappiest and unnecessary intros. This is how an introduction should sound like. The revelation soon opens the doors to the absolute monster known as “Too Late to Pray” that tells a spine chilling tale of an earthling who possibly crashes his bike at high speed, gets killed and is sent to hell for all the sins that he committed. “Beyond The Grave
” is slightly laidback with shorter lyrics but still punchy enough to teach a lesson of what lies beyond death. The third track “Valley of Death” is like a dormant volcano that starts out acoustic with melodic solos and emerges into a pounding heaviness of mass destruction with devastating guitar solos and bass drum thuds and the concept on the whole is absolutely exemplary.
The fight for “The Nazarene” is an ideal headbanger, where the tempo picks up and the shrieks in the background display pictures of desperate cries during bloody battles while the hellish chime of the “Bells Of Hades
” along with the main riff keeps the hellish ferocity going. The short “Into The Flames
” is pure power metal that could have easily made its way onto the debut release as the traditional touches are very eminent on this. The journey continues beautifully through the corridors of “Babylon
” and while one would expect some Middle Eastern riffs to be found on this, this one comes as a surprise as the melodies owe more to medieval Europe
but still sound masterly. Musically, the conquering of “Verdalack” is no different from the previous voyage except for a little acoustical representation in the middle section. “The Beginning Of The End
” too is another track that makes good use of laidback acoustic passages with clean and shouted vocals both with good solos and excellently catchy basslines. The album finishes in rampaging style marking the “Eve Of Destruction
” and comes like a giant ball of fire catapulted from the bowels of Hades
. Such is the power and intensity this track carries.
As can be concluded from this review, Tyrant
were not just another heavy metal band. They were signed on by Metal
Blade for some reason and which was undeniably their sound that detracted a lot from other signees who were either speed or traditional. People looking for true epic metal can never go wrong with this one especially for those who’ve vowed to swear by Omen
or Manilla Road
. For starters, if you’ve ever happened to listen to the Metal Massacre
III compilation, there’s a track called “The Battle Of Armageddon
” which was written by this very Tyrant
from Pasadena, California and not any of the other countless namesakes that have formed over the years including the popular speed metal band from Germany. This is heavy metal at its finest and heaviest.