top of page

I have nothing good to say about the cover. Well, it may always be in the listener's ear, but it looks more like modern Symphonic Metal with growls, howling elves and progressive elements. This is not the kind of music I want to sacrifice my scarce free time for. But then I read something by STEEL ASSASSIN (guitars) and MELIAH RAGE (vocals). Should an 80s US power metal gem await me here before the Lord? After several listens I'm smarter and feel more empowered to give my opinion on this album. Now that sounds really nasty, but you have to know what you're spending your hard-earned money on. As old Americans on the wrong side of the mid-50s, KINGDOM OF TYRANTS will of course not jump on any trends given the true metal background. But what is still trendy and what is already retro? I remember such music as a savior, as a reason to persevere in the really dark 90s, where real heavy metal and power metal eked out a miserable existence in the seclusion of the underground, mostly even hermetically sealed off in regional scenes with dwindling audience potential. It was only through the word and connections of a few daredevils that such music was discovered and brought to Europe, where there were no legions, but some lovers of powerful metal sounds with noble, often galloping guitars and powerful vocals were starving for their soul music from spiritual hunger. That was the time when I began, almost by accident, to discover the stylus or the keyboard as a substitute sword in the fight for real steel (yes, I was correspondingly enthusiastic and devotedly devoted to this music at the time) and to use it to spread the corresponding propaganda. Now that was all a long, long time ago and we have even reached a new millennium. Many of the albums and bands that I disliked as a young man due to various aspects are now part of my music collection at home that I like to listen to. On the other hand, an unbelievable amount of Heavy Metal and Power Metal from the old days and younger comrades-in-arms passed me by without a trace, because the material often lacked that last bit of genius to make it stand out in a decent amount of music. What am I trying to say? KINGDOM OF TYRANTS dare a balancing act, more even a "hops and hopscotch" game between the different forms of heavy - and real power metal. With a rough, creaky voice, the glory of metal is usually sung about in somewhat lower registers over solid, rolling steel drums, or a more imaginative theme is tackled in mystified transfiguration. The fantastic lead guitars of the STEEL ASSASSIN dudes remain particularly striking, cutting through the listener's soul like blows with flaming swords. Big arcs of melody can be heard here. Most of the riffs are also very catchy, which the opener 'Unforgotten Souls' conveys very forcefully. One can say that the old warriors do not hesitate. Even with all the clinging to the traditions and thus standards of heavy and power metal, they still have spirit. It's the spirit of the era that they're capturing. Mid 80's to early 90's when Metal was still he a v y. And with every listen, little flourishes, enchanting melodies, corners and edges of their band personality emerge. Driving, rolling or stomping, they are not at a loss to align the rhythm in a typical way and to write the pieces straight ahead. That goes straight into the blood and you as the listener are simply sucked in and romp along. An old saga of a musical nature awaits you, so don't insist on innovation. A person can't do it any better here, no matter what innovations they try to introduce. The record comes, it comes closer and closer to you, clearer and clearer with every turn of the player. Lovable and rough, just like Heavy Metal is. What seems unspectacular at first will inspire you shortly afterwards. It's been a long time since I've heard a US Power Metal record played so to the point, maybe more for reasons of oversaturation than for lack of it. But I'm glad they grabbed me and banged their ears on it. Leather, studs, mopeds, oil, chrome, jeans, beer, brotherhood, these are all attributes that come to mind. They don't wave flags to embrace anything trending better human for moral self-uplifting, they don't beat up people with different worldviews, they're not just good or bad, they're just down-to-earth and honest steelworkers. For example, as simple as the chorus of the band anthem is, it seems so passionate and genuine. The (big) boys don't need to dress up either. This is heavy metal for the club stages. Rock solid 8 points.

bottom of page