Symphonic metal bands are always a part of my music repertoire. But more often than not, I’m listening to a female fronted symphonic metal band. I just feel that the operatic female voice compliments the music very well. To put it in other terms, It makes it sound more “epic.” I thought I heard all there was to offer at this point for that genre. That is, until I heard Tyranny of Hours. First of all, they’re from the United States; this kind of symphonic metal usually comes from Europe. That’s already an impressive first start. Second, their amount of passion on this album is unmatched. Epica’s, Xandria’s, and Nightwish’s debut albums weren’t nearly this good. It sounds like a band in their prime, rather than a band starting out.
After the intro track, the album explodes with “Above the Salt” and it’s really evident that this band means business. They have a much heavier sound than most in this genre, but it works. Michelle Mattair’s vocals compliment every instrument perfectly. The drummer, Larry London, is very impressive as well. He has a progressive metal vibe that makes the songs sound more full of life and vibrant. As the album goes on it gets more and more impressive. The single, “Amber,” is a killer song that is sadly overshadowed by the stellar tracks “The Hapless Wand” and “The Path That Lies Apart.” Those tracks are two of the best that symphonic metal has to offer in general. They hit like a ton of bricks and don’t let up. This is one of the only albums where skipping the short, intermission tracks will kill the whole vibe of the album. Without “The Warm” or “Transvaal Sphere” it wouldn’t have the cohesive, fulfilling sound that it has.
There is no doubt that this is one of the best debut albums in eons. They put a lot of hard work and dedication into this and it shows. The album never has a misstep and it never lets the listener go. It makes me wonder how much more they can push themselves to top this on their next album. The only way I could see that happening would be making the vocals sound fuller. She has a beautiful voice, it just needs to stand out a little more. Besides that little bit of criticism, this album can’t be touched. Good luck finding a debut album that hits this hard and is this awesome. If they ever play around this area, count on me to be the first in line.
- Brian DuBois
Official Site - http://tyrannyofhours.net/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/TyrannyofHours