ALBUM REVIEW: REVELATIONS by New Jersey Rocker City of Tyrants

Revelations by City of Tyrants

Review by Steve Walker & Silje Bjørklund Grøterud | Go Venue Magazine

Album Release Date: 16th November 2018

Revelations Album Artwork

Revelations the new seven track album from City of Tyrants out of New Jersey is almost a staged follow up to the 2016 release “Erebus”. Two years in the making; the band have made the developmental attempt to use softer notes to deliver a much more accessible thrash experience to a broader audience.

There are aggressive dynamics between the band, almost a strive to compete and be the loudest most forceful sequence and presence on each track.  There are powerful relationships that have been forged between the instrumentation that leans towards over-distortion placed in an intentional way to showcase the levels of energy and focus the band are aiming to reach.

Stand Out Tracks
Astral Projections” – The single release prior to album launch offers a showcase of the descent into self-destruction.  The rage against is defined as an assault on how the personal is impacted by the over-bearing weight of external pressure.  The track opens rapidly and aggressively and gives a glimpse of the humanity within.  As the track continues the spiralling void is determined from the three-quarter point forwards as the melodic vocal gradually fades to darkness.  There is some technique in this track as a narrative, the track guides towards a probably inevitable outcome and it would be interesting to see if a thrash metal act can break this flow of constructed norms.

The lyric video of the track can be watched below:


This song starts off direct, with no apology, there is a lot going on in intro the with the roughness of the guitar carrying the song.  The song makes a transition to a softer vocal, supported by the crying of the guitar in the background making the song feel dark and mysterious. The drums are very present all the way through the song in a repetitive, almost hypnotizing beat. Half way through it shifts yet again to a softer vocal that brings the song to the finish line. 

The intro sets off with the raw sound of the guitar, accompanied by the growl and scorching vocals. From one minute on the guitar gets more powerful making the song elevate with the help of the softer vocal once again. It´s as if this song is more obvious yet darker making it feel more real, maybe more mainstream. The track progresses and is smoother towards the final stage and to an extent, it is like you get a sense of closure.

The intro is a bit different from the others trying to build up the song, not sure if its convincing enough though. The song lacks of depth in places. yet again from one minute on the softer vocal adds more power to the song. The band would benefit from using the notion of power through texture as oppose to sheer energetic pounding metal.  To be reasonable, some fans will be drawn to this.  In the next transition, there is a lot going on once again, but the softer vocal helps the listener focus. The end of the song feels stressful and the sudden stop offers confusion.

Verdict and Overview
The self-genred ‘thrashcrunchmeat’ will give metal heads something to chew over as the band continue to develop their sound and material. The principle of a journey through the album has some validity and the journey perhaps is supposed to be disjointed and challenging to allow an exceptional normality to emerge.  There is some research on the topics chosen in the album and the use of “Neraka” stretches the notion of hell typologies used in the scene towards a progression that is contemporary and hellbound.

City of Tyrants have worked to develop from their earlier release.  There are some challenges that have yet to be overcome, but it is reasonable to suggest that it is important that an emerging act on the scene cut their teeth to find their revelations towards their own journey to success.

Band Line Up
Charles Horning (vocals)
Ed Tyler (guitars)
Kevin Michael (drums/vocals)
Chingkhei Akoijam (guitars)
Josh Palmer (bass)

Album Track Listing

  1. The Arrival
  2. Insurrection
  3. Astral Projection
  4. Bloodlines
  5. Awakening
  6. Naraka
  7. Reflections

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About Steve Walker 7 Articles
Writer with an interest in process, artist vision, intention and composition. Exceptionally normal take on the extra-ordinary :) DM, F, C.