There is so much great stuff on Let There Be Nothing. I know we’re well into August, but better late than TYMHM never! Speaking of riffs, I can’t possibly go any further without mentioning this LP’s centre-piece and undoubtedly new live favourite: first single “Gloria”. The album discusses the rise of Napoléon Bonaparte and his eventual defeat during the Seventh coalition at Waterloo. The album finishes with a trio of epic tracks that clock in together at nearly a half hour. Standout tracks: Queen Of All Cities, Spiritual Treason, It Falls To Jerusalem, Careful! Each album displays oodles of talent and, whilst this might not strike with as much immediate impact as 2018’s The Last Emperor, Let There Be Nothing shows off a different side to the Arizonans; a side which might well see some game-changing, well-crafted epics arise in the future. I was slightly underwhelmed at first by what seemed like a decent but watered-down version of early 90s Blind Guardian, especially following the personal and heartfelt journey that was At the Expense of Humanity. The last three numbers are a combination of the hookiness of the openers and the progressive majesty of the middle tracks. There aren’t as many ‘go-for-the-jugular’ moments, the low-end is significantly less bulky and the overall vibe is one of introspection and reflection, with only brief forays into violence. The strong hooks, along with a heightened sense of rhythmic urgency, make The Last Emperor the most immediately grabbing entry in the Judicator canon thus far. It's weird. It’s a very streamlined album compared to its immediate predecessors, boasting a shorter runtime at less than fifty minutes without a single interlude in sight. This seemingly impossible balancing act was executed to perfection, making it one of my favorite power metal releases of the past decade – and one that’s especially tricky to follow up. Better yet, there is precious little of the frustrating ups and downs or shaky moments or extra fat that plagued each previous Judicator album. Rating: 3.5/5.0 He offers plenty of hard-hitting beats for the slower moments and keeps pace extremely well in the faster moments. Details like this display just how much work was put into this gem, and how it begs to be listened from start to finish, in order, like a real music fan. The first two albums were great, At the Expense of Humanity represented a new level for them, and The Last Emperor is somehow even better in almost every way. Judicator varies their tempos fairly often, which makes the blistering riffs especially effective and refreshing. Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com. An intensely personal power metal concept album that chronicled the final days of the brother of vocalist John Yelland as he lost his battle with cancer, the record Now I see it for what it truly is: a legitimately great album of this genre and the pinnacle of what the band has aimed to achieve since its inception. Let There Be Light (07:23) 02.
The shot of immediacy that the rhythm section injects into this particular outing practically never ceases; the drum performances, when isolated, could trick most into believing that The Last Emperor is a straight thrash release, and the frantic, persistent tremolo lines recall a more melodically inventive DragonForce. Hansi Kürsch even joins Yelland on "Spiritual Treason", but it still would've been a great song even without the legend himself. Add to that the catchy leads that delve into the epic scope more and more as the album progresses. Rhythmic monotony may be a persistent issue, but in The Last Emperor’s best moments – of which there are many – this concern melts away. Still, they’ve not really broken into the mainstream even of the power metal subgenre, though it’s likely their fourth full length The Last Emperor will mark that milestone. Before diving in, let’s make one thing clear to newcomers to this band: Judicator worships Blind Guardian, and has been doing so since vocalist John Yelland and guitarist Tony Cordisco decided to form a band after meeting at a BG concert in 2012. Judicator. Favorite Song: "Antioch" <3 1. The amazing production quality fuses everything together seamlessly and glistens the package with a shimmering polish, whilst losing none of Judicator’s core power and aggression. Shedding light on a fascinating character from history all while delivering top-notch power metal, this is the album you should listen to if, like me, you’re still mourning the latest snoozefest from Demons & Wizards. Tracks like the Rage-esque “Raining Gold” are pulse quickening in their aggression, but when I take a step back to look at the record as a complete package, it sort of blends into the following few tracks because of their nearly identical pace. The results somehow make the band’s Blind Guardian ideation even more transparent than it’d already been though that’s hardly a complaint when John Yelland’s voice remains reliably strong and the vocal lines on songs like “Take Up the Cross” are this catchy. If the already Blind Guardian heavy inspiration weren’t enough, Hansi Kürsch himself lends his magnificent set of vocal chords to album highlight 'Spiritual Treason'. Bottom line: Judicator are one of the most criminally underrated power metal bands active today. “It Falls to Jerusalem” in particular is one of Judicator’s greatest pieces to date, with a ceaselessly building series of riffs and vocal hooks that reflects the genre at its most grippingly dramatic.
Strange to the World (08:19) 04. The album treats us to more history by way of power metal, this time winding back the clock to the 6th century A.D. In an interesting twist, Judicator has completely phased out the harsh vocals that’d been present since their inception, allowing for frequent choral vocal layers. The riff after the chorus is one of Cordisco’s headbanging finest, and reeks of his signature style. While the track is a solid power metal number, it contrasts with the relatively innovative The Last Emperor so strongly as to effectively put into perspective how much this band has accomplished in six years, vaulting from their unpolished beginnings into a league that places them among the best modern power metal bands in the American scene.
The guitars often present themselves on equal footing with the vocals, providing a steady flow of rapid fire chugs, raging whirlwind leads, and occasional acoustic interplay on “Antioch.” The bass guitar even gets a few spots to shine on “Queen of all Cities,” a move that’s especially enjoyable considering how their source of inspiration hasn’t released a song with an audible bassline since the 90s. The vitamin C and potassium will only make me stronger!1 Needless to say, The Last Emperor‘s follow up, Let There Be Nothing, has been one of my most anticipated releases on tap for 2020, and thanks to Eldritch‘s busy real life, the review has fallen to little old me.
From the opening lines of the first track that paint a nostalgic picture of ancient auburn hills to speedy barnstormers like "Raining Gold" and "Nothing But Blood" to epics that fuse medieval acoustic guitars with bombastic yet heartfelt vocal melodies that will make A Night at the Opera fans smile with delight ("The Queen of All Cities", "Antioch"), there's something here for all varieties of speed or power metal fans! Judicator’s music never seems to require the orchestral pomp or overblown theatrics of acts like Rhapsody or Thy Majestie to sound grandiose. TomorrowвЂ s Sun (05:22) 03. Country of origin: United States Location: Salt Lake City, Utah / Tucson, Arizona Status: Active Formed in: 2012 Genre: Power Metal Lyrical themes: Historical concepts, Existentialism Current label: Prosthetic Records Years active: 2012-present . “It Falls To Jerusalem” provides a brief moment of respite at just the right point, before the redo of the band’s classic “King Of Rome” knocks you on your ass with one of the best riffs on the album (5:03! The Last Emperor is Judicator’s fourth album and arguably their best yet. So now Judicator return to the arena with a coherent, cohesive and concise slice of dynamic power metal that would certainly make Blind Guardian sit up and tremble. © diskunion company limited all rights reserved. The latter is one of those songs that will replay in your mind for days after hearing it just once, its rumbling bass backing the musical and lyrical gallop as Yelland and a female voice deliver an incredibly infectious vocal performance. “Antioch” Not that these were prominent characteristics of their previous works, but 2015’s At The Expense Of Humanity was an impressive and sprawling affair, whose enormous structures and prog sensibilities have been trimmed somewhat. Regardless, it seems like a great story and more importantly, the music is fantastic. The fascinating story of a love triangle between Belisarius, Antonina and Theodosius in the Byzantine empire of the 6th century is conjured strikingly by their brand of technically proficient, mature power metal. Static-X – Project: Regeneration – Vol. review heavy metal judicator For their fifth album, US power metallers Judicator work their way up to Prosthetic, a label with international pull and (more importantly) distribution. The Last Emperor is Judicator’s fourth album and somehow, they keep getting better. It’s seriously uncanny, and the genuine emotion he displays generally covers over the few overly-cheesy lyrical moments that occur from time to time on Let There Be Nothing — the sappy slow portions of “Strange to the World” being the worst offenders. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t quite match the standard set by its predecessor, but it’s a standout power metal release on its own merits nonetheless. Highlights: Each track is bolstered by Yelland’s vividly descriptive lyrics chronicling various events of The Crusades, with one of the most notable being Godfrey of Bouillon’s battle with a bear recounted in “Nothing but Blood.” The entire package is further enhanced by Judicator‘s best tones and most dynamic mix to date, which restrains the rhythm guitar volume to allow the skins to deliver a satisfying impact with each hit. It helped me enjoy a great album even more! It cannot be emphasized enough that this record is a ‘grower’; repeated listens and focused attention will reveal rewards which keep you coming back for more. It seems Judicator can do no wrong; everyone of their albums seem to garner plenty of praise and high marks. I think it’s about time I stopped referring to these guys as ‘newcomers’ because, on this new album, the band have really garnered control of their sound and lost any sense of flailing or pandering or unnecessary experimentation. They always do. I said it — again. Releases Worldwide: March 30th, 2018, Huck N’ Roll’s and Eldritch Elitist’s Top Ten of 2018, Dire Peril – The Extraterrestrial Compendium Review, Yer Metal Is Olde: Queensrÿche – Operation: mindcrime. (Review also published by me on RateYourMusic as cosmic_ocean). As someone who wishes that King of Rome had been more polished, it’s neat to see Judicator offer a new album that seems to be a revamp of that style instead of a full re-recording. This is probably best enjoyed as a whole, but my favorite tracks are “Tomorrow’s Sun,” “Gloria,” “Amber Dusk,” and “Let There Be Nothing.”.
He shares lead vocal duties with main vocalist John Yelland in this one track to bring it that little extra piece of epic, hitting the spot just right with melodic punctuation and a mighty chorus.
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