A Comprehensive Look at The Band – Judicator!!
Meet the New Masters of Metal
Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler
Hey tasters it’s Terry the Ancient One and I’d like to tell you about an underground power metal band out of Utah called Judicator that I began following when i worked the graveyard shift at a homeless shelter back in 2012. With three albums and an EP under their belt and fourth album scheduled for release in early 2018. Judicator has made it a long way in a short period of time.
Founded by Tony Cordisco and John Yelland who met through pure serendipity at a Blind Guardian concert were they both expressed their interest in making music and a shared love of power metal. Originally a two man project made up of vocalist John Yelland vocalist, lyricist and sometimes actor whose acted frontman for (Disforia, and Principum) and Tony Cordisco whose many talents include playing guitars, bass, drum programming, harsh vocals and every thing else of (Project Rowenwolfe and Vermiform) Judicator was to be a fire and forget project. That however was not what fate had in store for the band.
After the band released released it’s concept album King of Rome about the final days of Napoleon on October 30th 2012 which had a sound reminiscent of bands like Blind Guardian and Helloween. A marvel produced on a laptop by Tony Cordisco, the duo found the album had gained an underground following. With favorable reviews in underground metal magazines from as far away as Poland if I am remembering my facts correctly and with all the positive feedback they decided to do a second album….
For it’s sophomore album Judicator still used historical events for the theme of it’s second album. Yet they sought to do something different than pay homage to Blind Guardian. While John and Tony may not realize, they created a Rock Opera. Calling on their friends and fellow musicians to take part in the album doing guest vocals as characters in the tale of Frederick the Great King of Prussia called Sleepy Plessow Judicator showed it’s fans it had a second act 7 months after its first album. For me what stands out most is the change in playing styles and the collaboration of other musicians allowed Tony Cordisco to stand out more and not be overshadowed by John Yelland’s vocals.
Sleepy Plessow – Guest Musicians
**Bryan Edwards (Soulmass) on “Blut vom Himmel”
**Patrick Hoyt Paris (Project Rowenwolfe) on “The Philosopher King” “Gedenkstätte” and “Blut vom Himmel”
**Elizabeth Hall on “Release me” “Blut vom Himmel” and “Sea of Fire”
**Austin Bentley (Machines of Man) on “Release Me” and “Saphire”
**Paul Black (Turned to Stone) on”Thirty Years of Terror” “Memory of Shame” and “Release Me”
**Chad Ansderson (Hellion Prime) on “Blut vom Himmle”
**Tyller Sherril (Steamforged) on “Gedenkstätte
After Sleepy Plessow, John and Tony’s desire to legitimatize Judicator as more than a hobby and establish themselves as professionals lead them to bring in drummer Jordan Elcess (Atresia) and later Tyler Sherill (Steamforged) on Keyboards, in 2013 and begin work on a third album, and plans to tour as well were spurred on by 2 successful performance at the DeLand Rock and Metal festival in 2014. In the time leading up to the album I recall John Yelland expressing an interest in prog, and as time went on it became evident he and Tony were planning to try something completely new when Judicator announced it’s plans to cut their album third album. Rather than produce the music on a laptop Judicator chose to do a crowdfunding campaign that was a roaring success allowing them to Record the album and have it produced by Dirty Viking Audio and Tower Studio and gain the attention of Divebomb Records allowing for a wider release of the band’s music. A concept album At the Expense of Humanity was to be catharsis for John Yelland as he told the gut wrenching story of the loss of his older brother to cancer. A complete left turn musically and lyrically At the Expense of Humanity proved to the metal underground Judicator was no one trick pony.
Looking ahead, Judicator plan to return to historical based speed/power metal with The Last Emperor which is to be a historical fiction set in the second crusade. They will once again have it produced by Dirty Viking Audio and Tower Studio. Also in the works are music videos for King Of Rome and The Last Emperor all of which has me elated because I’ve been waiting for a new Judicator album and for them to do a video for the ages. This is a band that is truly on the rise and for people to take notice to The New Masters of Metal!!