Kickstart my engine
-- Tyrant King --
|■||Jan Van Couter||Lead guitar|
|■||Danny Deserranno||Lead vocals|
Review written by Stijn “Metal Shredder” Daneels.
[METAL SHREDDER REPORTING]
I was introduced to Tyrant King by one of our followers, throughout the past months I’ve noticed the name Tyrant King appear on some events we were promoting (including PlutoFest 2022) and since they’ll be opening up for our British friends called Vicious Nature next Saturday at the Elpee Music Bar the time is more than ripe to get Tyrant King’s debut EP, “Heart Of Metal,” shredded!
“Heart Of Metal” is the first EP of the Belgian heavy metal act Tyrant King and is an independent release. The EP begins with “Absolution,” a fast and smoothly jamming Motörhead inspired tune in which the seemingly joyful beats are in significant contrast to the howling vocals and apocalyptically themed lyrics. A solid opener, overall.
Then comes similar track called “Solid” which features a galloping main rhythm with frequent tempo changes. Personal highlight of this track for me is the middle part with the slow yet heavy riffs that reminded me of Metallica’s “Creeping Death” “Die by my hand…” section. Next up is “Hammer Of Thor” and it’s dark and eerie atmosphere made me think of classic Black Sabbath. Although I felt the opening sample of thunder and wind to be a bit cheesy, the rest of the song more than makes up for it thanks to the sudden but well timed rhythm changes (both in terms of instruments and vocals), catchy lyrics, custom percussion and not to mention the duet between the demonic main vocals and moody angelic backings near the song’s end. Pretty original stuff.
The EP’s penultimate track of Tyrant’s King is “Return Of The Tyrant” and is another slow and heavy burner with a similar theme to the earlier “Hammer Of Thor” song but less creative and memorable overall. It did have a sweet catchy chorus. The “Heart Of Metal” EP ends in similar way as it had started, with a fast and energetic tune, this time the tune’s called “Now Or Never” and as the title suggests, this is a call-to-action motivational tune, straightforward and meaty. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.
All in all, Tyrant King’s “Heart Of Metal” EP was a short but enjoyable ride that, while it feels old-school, does try to mix things around a bit. Sure, there are the usual classic metal ingredients like melodic guitar solos, naturally raw testosterone fueled vocals, bass-oriented rhythms and solid drums to wrap everything together. But from time to time Tyrant King does show its more creative side (particularly in “Hammer Of Thor”) and I really hope to hear more of that in their future material.
Tyrant King’s “Heart Of Metal” features a literal heart forged out of metal with a ton of gears and flaming exhausts. The image of a heart-shaped engine made of fire and steel reminds me of Judas Priest and, fun coincidence, when some of my greasy fingerprints appeared on the EP’s jewel case and the sun was shining on the case it looked like steam was coming out of the engine-heart as well.
Thematically, “Heart Of Metal” is much more socially conscious then I had initially expected with the end of the world due to overconsumption, extremism and all the natural and social disasters associated with it. Even the song “Hammer Of Thor,” which at first I thought would be just another power metal tune, uses the image and might of this Norse mythological figure as a metaphor for the apocalypse with Thor using his hammer and other divine powers to cause absolute worldwide destruction.
[SHARPEST SHREDS & BLUNTEST BLADES]
The opening track “Absolution” got me pumped to listen to the rest of Tyrant King’s material on this “Heart Of Metal” EP and that reason alone is enough justification for me to call this a highlight track. Also “Hammer of Thor” was a creative take on the iconic Norse thunder god and kept me engaged from beginning to end.
Weakest track for me was “Solid.” Not really the track’s fault to be honest, after all, it had to compete between two killer tunes by the name of “Absolution” and “Hammer Of Thor” and while “Solid” remains a… solid tune, it didn’t leave that big of an impact on me and killed off some of the momentum Tyrant King’s EP had built up with “Absolution.” Also, while Tyrant King has a song called “Heart Of Metal,” it isn’t included in this “Heart Of Metal” EP despite having identical names. Too bad, because I’m pretty hungry to hear more from these folks.
7,5 out of 10. With this solid debut Tyrant King provides an old-school metal ride inspired by the likes of Motörhead and Black Sabbath but with some interesting twists scattered around the EP. Certainly a set of tunes worth checking out.