Yankee Thrash metal titans; Warbringer have probably not been on the scene as long as you think. Hailing from California and forming in 2004 and releasing their first demo’s in 2004 and then 2005. In 2006 their first EP was released titled ‘One by One, The Wicked Fall’. Then in 2007 they were on a split CD with the likes of Toxic Holocaust, Enforcer and Merciless Death (to name a few). Finally in 2008 their first album! ‘War Without End’ which received some mixed reviews. It didn’t put a downer on the band though and the next year in 2009, they released another full length album ‘Waking into Nightmares’. This time the reviews shown improvement and more people wanted a slice. This then scored them a split CD with Dew Scented in 2010. In 2011 another album appeared ‘ Worlds Torn Asunder’ which led them into tours worldwide with the likes of Arch Enemy and Florida’s Obituary. This summer (yes we did have one didn’t we?) the band said goodbye to all that they know and kept their heads down recording their newest gem mixed by Brett Eliason (Pearl Jam, Heart).
I’m loving the old school 80’s riffs at the beginning of the first track ‘Horizon’. So get the booze out ‘cos I’ve a feeling shit’s about to go down! The screams of John sounding so intense you can almost feel his lungs bleeding and as for the drums, wow!! Some fantastic stuff coming out of my speakers. The acoustic fading end is quite effective too, fading out to get you mellowed out a bit till the next track is ready to tear you a new one. So wasting no time with track 2 ‘The Turning of the Gears’ and I’m head-banging already and sober at that! The chorus is catchy as hell, easily remembered and the riffs are definitely original! Then there’s ’One Dimension’ again, sounding classic with an early Judas Priest feel to it. The guitar riff to this one oozes talent and if you didn’t already know what the band looks like, from that solo, you’d be thinking spandex! Yes?
Faster (and now louder) the riffs are on fire and all over the show. Think Slayer and get your pit on! However, there’s still some groovy bass-lines in sections for a quick breather before you get on with your circle pitting, and not to forget again that voice, it’s almost a little black metal In this!! And the screams at the end, just wow!
‘Black Sun, Black Moon’, for a second there, I thought I was listening to Priest’s Painkiller! Again with a fast pace, superb drum rolls and cheery riffs (yes really) which is certainly a nice welcome to the usual hard-core rip your face off riffs.
So, lets ignore my previous comment of speedy thrash, this track (Scars Remain) blows it all out the window! And will get you chanting the lyrics in no time at all. Then there’s the solo, step aside anyone who thinks they can play and let this chap come through and show you all how it’s done. Refreshing to hear something that’s not JUST thrash.
By far my favourite track is ‘Dying Light’ the intro makes you want to shout “OOOOOOH” in your best growl and the lyrics “Kneel before me Odin, and now you are mine!” as well as the music, go together beautifully!. Yet, another belter to mention is ‘Leviathan’ a perfect festival styled track. Slowed down with some beasty guitars but then fooling everyone, the tempo goes on full speed they prove to all of us why they’re still on the scene after nearly ten years. Then, there’s the last track ‘Towers of the Serpent’ in which they unveil even more of some serious finger bleeding. Even John (Vocals) puts his all into this one as if to know he’s going to leave us wanting more and he’s right!
OK guys, I’ve heard it, now hurry up and bring your next release out! All joking aside, this is a class album. You can tell the band have shed some tears…oops sorry.. Heavy metal blood in making this. It certainly shows! I can’t recommend this enough. Possibly the best thing I’ve heard this year. Luckily, after meeting the band at a small gig in North Wales they turned out to be friendly and wanted to mingle with the fans as much as they could. A rarity! .Well done fellas!
(9/10 Charlene Rance)