March 31st, Warbringer finally releases their 5th full length after quite a bit of rockiness. It seems the current lineup could be here to stay. Maybe, maybe not, but all I know is that they put together a super solid record that I could listen to over and over without it getting old.
Warbringer is one of those bands who will never lack authenticity, I don’t think they’ll ever sell out. Thier style has always stayed true to the thrash roots they’re influenced by. But they’ve always had a way of putting their own flare on this style of music that they so obviously enjoy playing, too. Speaking of which looking at the few releases leading up to this one, you can tell they were playing around with different melodic ideas. It’s also worth mentioning that Adam Carroll is a fan of Dissection and Swedish Death metal bands like Entombed. It shows in his playing and they’ve kept those elements around for this record too.
Listening to this record I felt hopelessness, but also inspiration. It captures an atmosphere of war and pain in a way that’s not weary and meek, but more in an explosive way. It definitely tells a story, but one that’s not as fictional as we’d like to think. When I listen to this I just want to contemplate the world around me, and I feel like that’s what they were going for alongside an obvious display of musical talent. Sometimes there’s a creepy eerie vibe like in Spectral Asylum, and sometimes just straight and impressively quick. Music that makes its point loud and clear.
Something I can really appreciate about Warbringer is all the meaning they put behind the music. Like in Shellfire, lyrics such as “I’m cast aside now that I’ve played my part. I lie in the street I beg not to starve. I’m crippled, disfigured, you just look away. The war you forgot, the price I have paid.” like holy shit, potent stuff.
Divinity of Flesh definitely shows some black metal influence with its tremolo picking and blast beats. It melds with the various other styles well and is a notable and unique track. The message is good too, that knowledge lives on after our bodies are gone. Or at least, that’s what I personally got out of it.
When the Guns Fell Silent is absolutely epic. Not to mention it’s super long. But on that note, it doesn’t just drag on. It proceeds with intention and I couldn’t think of a better way for them to end the record. It’s very memorable and evokes all the right feelings of grief, anger, sadness, etc. Basically what you’d be feeling anyways after an album this good stops playing.
They’ve dealt with a lot of shit over the years. Whether it’s being called Slayer ripoffs, to drastic lineup changes, to disaster at the worst possible time. Either way, they’ve bounced back as a band. It’s been about four years since the release of IV: Empires Collapse, and I think they understandably needed that time to sort things out. Using that time they created an album that’s carefully crafted, yet it’s still pure raw thrash that’s furiously delivered. Exactly how it’s supposed to be. But they’ve got their own flavor to it of course, which makes it that much better. You’ll find no staleness or dead horse beating in this album, just angrily pounding riffs that make you want to get up and move. I’d say it’s up there in one of the best records I’ve heard this year so far.
1. Silhouettes 04:45
2. Woe to the Vanquished 04:01
3. Remain Violent 03:24
4. Shellfire 03:59
5. Descending Blade 04:15
6. Spectral Asylum 05:34
7. Divinity of Flesh 03:50
8. When the Guns Fell Silent 11:11
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Playing Time: 40:59
Adam Carroll – Guitars
John Kevill – Vocals
Carlos Cruz – Drums
Jessie Sanchez – Bass
Chase Becker – Guitar