At the Expense of Humanity

by Judicator

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@CelticFrosty thumbnail
@CelticFrosty I don't listen to a lot of power metal, but this one completely blew me away. It's rare to find such an emotional and poignant performance within the power metal genre, at least in my experience. Everyone should check this out.
Nick Pompella
Nick Pompella thumbnail
Nick Pompella This really is about as original as you can get, musically and lyrically. If you like the first two Judicator albums, I would say that while it has a far different atmosphere, the incredible songwriting ability is back and better than ever. It's also evident that the entire band has grown from a technical standpoint as well. Many of the solos show off a wonderfully proggy edge from the drums to all of the melodic instruments. Absolutely stunning.
Ben Kolk
Ben Kolk thumbnail
Ben Kolk This is going to be hard to take "Best Album of the Year" from this album in my book. It has amazing vocals, amazing instrumentals, amazing production, amazing artwork, etc. They were even able to growl and have me love it, which is saying something! All in all, I'd recommend this album to anyone in a heartbeat.
Update: Album of the Year for me without a doubt. Only album to come close was Marius Danielsen's Legend of Valley Doom; also featuring John Yelland. Favorite track: God's Failures.
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'At the Expense of Humanity' is a progressive power metal concept album about singer John Yelland's brother who passed away after battling cancer. The album details the story of John's family, their struggles, and his personal existential and philosophical quandaries that resulted. Musically, the album shows the band moving away from the Germanic power metal styles explored on their sophomore effort 'Sleepy Plessow' and diving into more progressive territories, as well as incorporating elements from other sub genres of metal they had not previously used. This album was successfully crowd-funded in 2014 and produced by Dirty Viking Audio and Tower Studios.


released March 28, 2015

Judicator is...

John Yelland - Vocals
Tony Cordisco - Guitars, Bass
Jordan Elcess - Drums
Tyler Sherrill - Keyboards

Guest Musicians:
Carlos Alvarez (Shadowdance) - Guitar Solo (Tracks 3, 12)
Jeff Teets (MindMaze) - Guitar Solo (Track 12)
Joshua Payne (Epyon) - Guitar Solo (Tracks 6, 10)
Paul Black (Turned to Stone) - Harsh Vocals (Tracks 6, 10)
Mercedes Victoria - Female Vocals (Track 10)
Austin Bentley (Disforia) - Strings (Tracks 7, 8, 13)

John Yelland
Carlos Alvarez
Dave Brown (Chaos Frame)

Produced, Reamped & Mixed by Carlos Alvarez at Dirty Viking Audio:

Mastered and Sequenced by Brett Caldas-Lima at Tower Studio:

Album Artwork by Austin Bentley at Austin Bentley Art:

All lyrics by John Yelland
All music by Tony Cordisco and Tyler Sherrill



all rights reserved


Judicator Tucson, Arizona

Judicator is a Power Metal band formed by Tony Cordisco and John Yelland after the two met at a Blind Guardian concert. They released two historical based albums as a recording project, and then evolved into a full, touring, band signed by Divebomb Records on their album "At the Expense of Humanity". The band is currently recording their fourth album "The Last Emperor" for a 2018 release. ... more

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Track Name: God's Failures
You--I demand your attention!
A story would be told about a boy who's growing older
Now's the time to dive inside your warped and tattered mind
The pieces do not fit the puzzle of your logic's path

And as I sit in the candlelight
A silhouette from behind

Failing Gods
Into the shadow of my mind, mindful of the implications
Failing Gods
Where was your God when brother died?
Failing Gods
A cancer patient hopes he'll win
Failing Gods
I'm by your side until the end

Punished by the hand of God for seizing fruit of knowledge
The metaphor made flesh--you'd carve me pound for pound

And as he rots in his death bed
I see his father with calloused eyes

Failing Gods
Into the shadow of my mind, mindful of the fading light
Failing Gods
They've put their stock in failing Gods
Failing Gods
A cancer patient hopes he'll win
Failing Gods
I'm by your side until the end

Solo: Tyler

Failing Gods
Into the shadow of my mind, mindful of the implications
Failing Gods
Where was your God when brother died?
Failing Gods
A cancer patient hopes he'll win
Failing Gods
I'm by your side until the end

Solo: Tony

There is no rhyme or reason
Track Name: Cannibalistic Mind
Waste away for hours, slip away
The only way out of this cage
You're fading away
By the window watching autumn leaves
My only break from reality

He lies in his agony
He'll die, this I feel but
But what's the purpose behind?
He lies, shadows of pink in the light
Implies terrible things will happen to all

Never had a normal life, I'm not the same
Severed ties to community
Your fears are legitimate
Meander through hallways day by day
Leave my mind to die by day

The mind when unfed it
It feeds--so insatiable
It eats itself
The mind, so unnourished
It eats any idea it comes in contact with

Solo: Calos
Solo: Tony

He lies to himself yet
He cries out for mercy
But still he keeps up his faith
He lies to the others
He cries when they ask him
How he's doing
I'm not
Track Name: Coping Mechanism
You say I'm angry, I can't deny
It's burning in my veins
But that's only the symptom
You say I'm searching, I tell you now
The things that I have seen
Could crush your fragile state of mind

We call it folklore

Wander the moonscape, let your spirit fly
Disguised as strength and yet I never question why
Wander the moonscape, a dreamworld farewell
Your id desires freedom, subterfuge by self

Born in my mind, a seed of misanthropic fear
I can't identify as one of you I know
It's not a phase, it's not a stretch
I'd love to rid myself this useless cage of human flesh

We call it folklore

Wander the hallways, let your spirit fly
Disguised as innocence, you never question why
Wander the hallways, a conscious farewell
Your id desires freedom, subterfuge by self

Solo: Tyler

Wander the hospital, let your spirit fly
I am a lonely vessel, candle in the night
Wander the hospital, subconscious farewell
Memories and time will fade
How long do broken ships sail?

Lies and lies from generations die
Yet I'm the only one who questions
Why we're here
Track Name: My Fantasy Destroyed
I walk alone at night, hoping that I'll find
Epiphany or more, a greater understanding

Always knew that I'd be alone
Never thought that I'd find a home
Home, a different meaning
Who is solitary
Always knew that I'd die alone
Never thought that I'd find someone
Someone to be by my side
To help me find the fleeting light

Full moon shine--I'm swimming in my deepest fears
Blackest skies--a highway jam that's in my head
Nevermind--something is here
Crashing waves--I'm treading in the blackened waves
Flowing blood--relentless routing in my head
Pounding fear--time to reveal

Feeling now that my brother's tale
Doesn't have a happy end
End to a broken line
This wretched soul, observer
Always knew I was special, I
I'm taken back by
By the surreal feelings here
Almost like a dreamworld here

Glowing moon--it's almost like a lucid dream
Lurking doom--or is it just a catalyst?
Nevermind--time to go back
Gentle wind--I look up to his room alight
So exposed--I'm standing naked in the rain
Now return--to numbing death

Cancer leaves families exposed
Rips, cracks into canyon walls
Step by step up to his room
Lying there, mother beside

Solo: Tony

Fantasy is torn apart
Reality is fucking stark
Stark in the face of tears
Eyes that show our fears
Mom caresses withered hands
Hold on tight and pray loud
Loud is the comfort of men
Yet they're silent in their pride

Indoor breeze--this surely cannot happen now
Earned your keys--into another bleaker world
Blood and bone--you won't escape
Only smoke--emergency to save his life
Without fire--no longer am I here alone
Earned your keys--time to grow up
Track Name: Lucid Nightmare
Peeling back the layers of what is real
Darkness comes into my realm surreal and
Pulsing steady, macabre delight
It calls to me beating, somewhere in the night
Oh how it burns

Dreams broken by you, your suffering and your pain
Infects those you love, we share in all the pain

Now--time to be seen
See--all that has been
Free--all that you think
Let us inside you

No--let us be you
Please--soon we'll be through
What--do you desire?
All that I can know

I sit alone by windows
So silent, meditating quiet
There's nothing odd it seems but
A drop of sweat spells in all out

Shadows with eyes
A force of nature has found a friend
Shadow's disguise
The memories are cast into light

Speak, speak to me she pleads
So kind and motherly
One shouldn't speak his thoughts
Just keep to your own self

Why (I) have you come here?
I (you) want it all clear?
Shall (we) we learn about
Each other and more?

Why (I) isn't the question
I (you) want it all clear
Shall (we) we take our hands
Leap into the void

We spoke for endless hours
What seemed like lifetimes passing by
All that is dark and twisted
A journey through what I forgot

Signs from within
What might be certain might also fail
Signs all around
Life with blinders, I shall be found

Solo: Tyler

Darkness behind, behind the door it's
Darkness inside, inside each of us
Darkness behind, behind the door it's
Darkness inside, inside each of us

I'm in a dream/reality
A paradox so real


Contact, eternity between us
Answers, it's opening floodgates in my mind

Solo: Josh
Solo: Tony

Looking straight into my soul he asks me
"Are you ready to forgive me?" Forgive him now!
Now begins my spiral fall into the black
Grey ethereal world of answers, answers and lies

Curiosity divine yet frightening
When left alone the mind will turn on, turn on itself
Open doorways, let the dark come in
The void seems frightening, but it needs you
Needs to be seen

No more dreams, the things I've seen
In a lifetime of mere seconds
Time compressed, what's the deal?
To be struck between yourself and I
No limits, I want to fly
Leave the world of mortals far behind
No body, I want to die
leave us one with the elements in space
A noble step into the light
Of the darkness of reality
Count to three, and then you'll see
This has all been just inside your head

No! I want to stay
You! Do not betray
I! I found you there
I have freed your soul

We (I) are to be bound
I (we) cannot be found
Die (no) singular path
For my desires

Awaken from the stupor of meditation gone awry
But still the pain is with me
and to my right he's lying there

Stand into light
The morning beams of the sun's twilight
Stand up and see
A newfound path of your destiny
Track Name: The Rain in the Meadow
Rays of sunshine through the haze
In these melancholy days
A mind who's blinded by the pathos
'til the nerve is burned and numb

Have I gone too far?
A fallen star, but did I ever really shine?
I feel the truth unfold

Blur the lines and pray
But not to God, I yearn the flawed embrace of man

I feel the lines have thus been blurred
The catalyst of mine occurred
Bent the straw and broke the line
This new reality of mine
Track Name: Nemesis/Fratricide
Waiting for heaven to shine
Watching the life force of my brother drain away

Carried on through hellish halls
Dimly lit, I hear the calls
You can't save me--I'm breaking down
Family weeps together and
the presence of another man
Michael Andrus has just arrived

"I am the father of the man who's dying here
This is my power, authority of God"

I carried hopes with me that somehow we'd avoid
These ego games and sport for your control

Life, after this life, after this death
You're wandering in a lucid nightmare now
To be the wraith who wanders endlessly through space
You're looking death in its pallid face this time

Carry me away and split this soul apart
In this world of mine inside my head
Carry me away and bring me to the edge
To the edge of consciousness and pride

Skies of grey and howling wind
Let the combat trial begin
Fratricidal--we'll spill the blood!

"My son has title chance to make it through this hell
His guts are liquified and chemo treatments failed"

I cannot say that you are wrong or you are right
But words from you are venom, no agreement is in sight

Life, ending his life, mercy disguised
You're withdrawing into lucid nightmares now
He'll be the wraith who wanders endlessly through space
You're looking into a fantasy this time

Carry me away to dream forevermore
In this world I'm promised to explore
Carry me away and bring me with you there
To where pain is gone and dreams are real

Dancing starlight
Dance with me
Dancing starlight

Solo: Tony

Time, time to decide, palaver's time
Time to decide what to do with dying men
To be the man who holds authority of God's kind will
This vanity illusion will decay

When the bastard son is held into the light
Pass the torch and praise the King of Rome
When the bastard son is old enough to rule
Then your reign will end by Mordred's hand
Track Name: Autophagia
"So it's clear brother, looking back I have regrets
and though I know I hurt you
Cast aside your mother and left you
Understand the pain that scarred my mind
And twisted my heart
Please forgive my actions
Please allow me to die with dignity"

Wishing silent just to cry and curl up on the floor
Looking down at him, pale and sunken eyes
Bony fingers and rib cage

Rage, rage in my heart, dying to kill
Pull all the flesh from the bone
Sinew from bone, stabbing to death
All that's repressed and
Rage, rage in my heart, dying to die
Easy as one finger's pull
Pull the trigger, end it all now
Nothing is worthwhile

Day by day I see him fade
Day by day I want to follow him
Fading time, his mind is dulling
Like a blunted spear once proud
Kill the pain, benumb him
Dull his senses, just let him fade away
Sleep away to stop the pain
Pretty soon he'll fall asleep for good

Death is closer yet, no one knows when
Helplessly I go on
No one cares for you, no one dares love you
Leave your mind to itself

Rage, rage in my heart, dying to kill
Pull all the flesh from the bone
Sinew from bone, stabbing to death
All that's repressed and
Rage, rage in my heart, dying to die
Easy as one finger's pull
Pull the trigger, end it all now
Nothing is worthwhile

Set me free from my myself
I cannot take anymore

Solo: Tony
Solo: Tyler

Rage, rage in my heart, dying to kill
Pulling off ears and your lips
Knife between ribs, slowing heartbeat
All that's repressed and
Rage, rage in my heart, dying to die
Easy as one leap of faith
Come from nothing, end as nothing
Nothing is worthwile
Track Name: Life Support
Between rage and sorrow
We sense approaching death
The drugs put him to sleep
He's conscious less and less

He will come back to us, God will not abandon
I gave him life, and I won't see my pride and joy slip away

I know that I hide alone
But I will never leave you
I wouldn't have you take this path
Of what I'll soon become

Please--sitting in corners alone
Please come back to me
No--trust in the gift of life
He will pass on in the night

I hope that I may be wrong
God will relieve thosewith faith
Please--I will not give up on you
I'm bracing myself for the storm

Storm! I will not yield! I know that you would pray
But no prayers will sound while that thing is still around

I just can't take it all, this constant hate and fear
Like a snake that circles round and round
and feasts upon itself

I know that you two butt heads, but can't you let that rest?
My son is dying here and still you can't but difference aside?

Will you consider my words?
I just want to be alone
How can we deal with this shit?
You've already danced with death
We could go on in shifts
There's no sense dealing with him
Trust--how can I trust in you people?
It is your only choice

Madness--can I be set free?
No more--now show yourself
Selfish--picking on my brother's wife
Stop now--his poor love
Cold bitch--just leave her alone!
Please, now! Everything's ending
Snide jabs--leave the girl alone!

It's good that my brother can't see

Solo: Josh

Now--watching the strength in her heart
Tolerance comes to an end
Now you can see why I left
Stories have come to life
A glimpse into broken minds
Everyone carries burdens
But don't let it fester in you

I know that it's my sacrifice
Track Name: At the Expense of Humanity
Cast aside the impulse of my fear
Leave behind the world you once held dear

I feel cursed by heaven
Cut loose my frustrations
Led to darkest waters
Treading in the void of death

I'm ready to deny
(The body of your waking life)
I'm ready to defy

Fall asleep, I'll meet you there (Burning the fray!)
Sacrifice your waking life
Count the sheep until you fade (Burning the fray!)
Then your feet will touch the shore

He gasps, raspy breathing
No more life support and
He's swimming on his own
Circling the void he will roam

I watch my brother die
(The mind of your waking life)
I ask the heavens, "why?"

Fall asleep, I'll meet you there (Burning the fray!)
Swirling mist coils round your feet
Fall asleep, I'll meet you there (Burning the fray!)
Almost like a twisted dream

Solo: Tyler

Nemesis starts at our hearts
Again with his fights and righteous scorn
Mother is done, rebuking him
Rage of paternal love divine
"Get out" she says, "leave her alone"
"You're heartless and vile, I want you out!"
After she's done, Jared is gone
Flat-lined as if he saw it all

And now, after all
He sees his own son dead
And flees into hallways
As we're left with just a corpse

Fall asleep, I'll meet you there (Burning the fray!)
Slip your feet into the warm
Fall asleep, I'll meet you there (Burning the fray!)
Leave your mortal shell behind
Track Name: How Long Can You Live Forever?
Solo: Carlos

Resting in fields of a nebula
I rise from my throne of stars
There to my right is a gaseous form
and I speak but no words come forth

Colors burn the human eye
Godlike structures etched in time
Paradox of change divine
Cast from shadows

We're all one creature, life form, and cell divine
I am bleeding into the cup of immortality

Solo: Tyler

Mockery of human form
Spirit child you're now reborn
Enter through these astral gates
Fly beyond and seal your fate

Dreaming of you now, wondering if you're still here
Move through arches, the dark behind the doorway now

Glitches of gold in the sky above me
Wince at its light as you cry in glory
Now that you have eternity at your hands
Will you find all you sought before?

Fantasy renewed yet different
Given life anew, but skewed and warped

You've made the progress and done me proud
I'll call you family and life the shroud
Bestowed my wisdom upon the noble meek
There is reward for those who seek
I found thy wisdom, but at a price
Gave up all that I am, soon I will forget
That I was once a being with everlasting hope
And yet I learned the lesson
Shed the mask and coped

Pass the light, remember the fallen
I will be the "King of Rome"
Singing songs to honor the loved
You will be the "King of Rome"

Solo: Jeff

Solo: Tony

Given the choice of how to live
Honor my family scarred and torn
Cancer is just a part of life
Everyone tumbles in the flames
There is no reason to explain
Anything by the hand or will of God

Life's a burden, love is loss
You're not a winner when you don't even play
Give it all and it's not enough
Nothing that's worthwhile comes without some pain