Heavy. Profoundly heavy, the second album by the Americans TYRANT. “Too Late To Pray”, as the title of this infernal grenade reads, beats almost anything that has ever gathered under the banner of Heavy Metal. Now I hear a scream going through the community: “How can he claim something like that, by doing so he degrades all of the albums he praises so much to insignificance!” No, he doesn’t, each of the discs he praises so much is worth its money, only TYRANT enjoy an absolutely special status.
In terms of sharpness and darkness, the tyrants sweep away almost all Doom bands easily, in terms of variation in any case. They also proceed as aggressively as the best Thrash bands a la old SLAYER/DARK ANGEL, so the catchiness and melodies are still missing. And in this field it’s a different thing. The memorable hymns of the predecessor “Legions Of The Dead” were somewhat absent this time, but with time, true crystals emerge from the hard song ground on “Too Late To Pray”, too.
In any case you need time to get warm with this disc, as it turned out quite complex and furnished with many subtleties. No, the troop around the May brothers didn’t fuddle their souls out, but they were also lightyears away from everyday song structures. And the barbarically-desperately roaring singing by Glen May doesn’t exactly make it easy for you. People with manic depressions should stay away from the album in any case!
Those who appreciate the sinister mood of EVERGREY, the heaviness of really old BLACK SABBATH, the aggression of DARK ANGEL’s “Darkness Descends” and the odd, artful song structures of old MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL etc. can’t get around “Too Late To Pray”, the less so since the songs also exhaust themselves speed-wise partly. It’s not that the band pushes the pedal to the metal, but the title song, for example, apart from its insane brutality, keeps its foot down decently (maybe the catchiest song of the album by the way). On “The Nazarene” the tyrants step on the gas thoroughly and push the low-brow listener flatly against the wall.
For the Power Metal group there’s more than enough to discover anyway. But on monster tracks like “Beginning Of The End” or “Valley Of Death”, which begins in a balladesque way, lets the axe spin violently after that and gets calmer towards the end again, Doom disciples are also shown what it means to get hit by Thor’s hammer.
Fans of TROUBLE to DOOMSWORD should watch out on record markets, it’s rarely that worth it. After a short break, the last CD track “Eve Of Destruction” is followed by two bonus songs from earlier rehearsal tapes which logically can’t compete with the regular material sound-wise, but are really good musically. (Online October 16, 2004)