“WARBRINGER – WOE TO THE VANQUISHED” CD-REVIEW by Santtu “Rebel” Kaskela
Released March 31st 2017… This is the 5th studio album by this band from US, including 8 songs, total of 41 minutes of pure aggression as it should be when talking about thrash. The band’s first album for Napalm Records and the first to feature guitarist Chase Becker and bassist Jessie Sanchez. The album also marks the return of guitarist Adam Carroll. Time to take a closer listen to this… Let’s go !!
Hmmm… Just as expected, right from the start with “Silhouettes” and “Woe to the vanquished” You get the idea what´s going on. Out of the way, straight forward thrash coming through. But not like most of the bands do their thing… First thing to notice is the incredibly massive and powerful vocals by John Kevill supported by very heavy, accurate and fast drumming and pretty technical solos but not too fancy riffs in guitars.
Just as You thought the “full speed ahead”-mode is on, the next one “Remain violent” brings this band to a whole new different level with it’s tempo change to a bit slower and adding some groovy elements just to spice things up a bit. A very nice surprise… Still dominated by vocals, but in this song those riffs are actually pretty damn catchy and You can literally feel those drums pounding inside You.
Here we go again… “Shellfire” with so much hate, aggression and energy but this time the band changes the song structure right in the middle… What ? Almost feeling like driving a fucking fast car and running out of fuel… This is pretty unusual but sounds like a well organized chaos since we´re back on track after 1 minute.
“Descending blade” and “Spectral asylum” show everyone how talented musicians master their instruments when songs get a bit more complex… Jumping from pure thrash with absolutely nothing fancy to almost inhumanly technical and fast riffs/solos… “Divinity of flesh” is not an exception, almost like this song is preparing everyone for the grand finale, showing everyone what this band is made of and what they have to give to everyone…
“When the guns fell silent”… The closing track of this album… What can I say ? An epic way to end this journey… 11 minutes including everything heard so far, almost like a little story of it’s own… Heavy, angry, aggressive and full of energy yet so calm with beautiful melodies included… Perfect finish which makes You want some more, like the story is only just about to start.
Overall… This particular album shows that pure thrash added with some little details, some diversity in production and of course multiple layers of song structures is the key to success… These kinds of things are the ones which makes this album stand out from the masses of basic straight forward, sometimes even a bit boring thrash metal. You´re a fan of thrash, check this album and get ready to be surprised… Not a fan, my guess… You’ll be one.
Only thing that troubles me… Production/mixing… Vocals and drumming are so damn dominating, guitars are just a little support in the background… sometimes You won’t even pay attention to the highly skilled musicians with their talent in killing their instruments. Rating 9-/10
Santtu “Rebel” Kaskela / MHF Magazine