One look at the cover art and logo style and I was rather unimpressed it has to be said as this one man death metal project from Brazil has relocated to London and added new musicians (from Greece and Cyprus) to become an actual band, though they still need a drummer at the time of writing. Bruno Schmidt (funny name for a Brazilian) is the mastermind here as he has done everything except play drums which are programmed. This album is long by death metal standards as each tune is more than five minutes bar one. Programmed drums are always going to make me wince slightly as it always does but in actual fact a great deal of thought has gone into how they will sound alongside the riffing. Beginning with “Dystopia” you are greeted with a solid death metal outing that at first feels like an instrumental before a quick riff change and blurring simulated snare blast which works but only just here. As the tune progresses you quickly forget that they’re programmed drums as they meld with the songs very well, though I’m sure some will totally disagree for the sake of it.
“I Stare To See” is straight deathliness with a catchy intro riff that leads into very good solo work. Bruno has written songs that are convoluted with tangential riff changes and superbly executed guitar solos. His voice varies from the usual gutter gargling growls to mid range screams. I would say that Mr Schmidt is a massive lover of Chuck Schuldiner as his leads border the said maestro closely, though without too much cloning. By the time you get to “Idealizing The Past” you realise that this guy tries to pack as much into every song as possible, which can often render songs like this lifeless and devoid of passion but fair due as “Flawless” possesses a melody similar to Metallica, both old and new, before shifting into the blast and riff style. “Putrid Insignia” edges melodic death metal though the snare is hyper in places creating a frenetic feel, tempered only by the excellent leads on display which for the more discerning amongst you probably remind you of tons of other bands like Slayer on “Clenched Teeth”.
“The Passionate Degradation” begins in straightforward fashion with Obituary density on guitar but Nile hook injections. As I stated earlier this is an album of riffs as the song diverts into speed metal and thrash with the speed resolutely remaining fast. Blink your eyes and another riff appears with a nice melody and a change of pace. A lot of Warclouds’ songs feel like instrumentals as the vocal level is kept slightly lower than the guitar sound and if you’re not careful you forget they are there. This album ends with the epic nine minute plus “Sharing The Filth” which has a core structure that is repeated a couple of times. Building nicely with deep throaty Immolation like vocals, the slow double kick signals a riff change and increase in pace before dropping back to an Amon Amarth feel. This represents the core of the song as here the track moves into drum fills and double bass and a definite Metallica hook. An acoustic guitar piece is added which I felt didn’t work as well as I expected, as the drum sound is too dominant. The vocals take a notch down an octave or ten it appears too before returning to the core section.
This is a good album with songs that are challenging and containing a raft of quality riffs, which maybe a little familiar overall but the fluidity of the song writing is excellent.
(7.5/10 Martin Harris)