"Woe To The VanquishED"
"Woe To The Vanquished "
Released March 31st on Napalm Records
Life is one huge amalgamation of random moments seemingly unrelated but sewn together in somewhat coherent fashion. It's like the time I walked into my kitchen, asked someone what they were drinking, and got the answer "tears of my enemies" AND....I though to myself "oh yeah, I need to give that new Warbringer album a listen." See? Random.
This particular album is sensory bliss for a gal like me. It affected me differently than a lot of thrash does. I'll explain that a few lines down.
The whole thing for me was a great swath of sky blue punctuated with the occasional jab of army green from under my boots. Considering the subject matter, it seems appropriate, if not a bit ironic.
Remember....wide world of weird....I see color with heavy music.
Warbringer....Woe to the Vanquished...released March 31 via Napalm Records/Century Media.
John Kevill, you have found a niche and it suits your vocal style perfectly. Please don't ever leave to form a country band. The world might implode. Now that I have that off my chest.....
I love this album. I love it hard. That's saying a lot for me because I didn't listen to American thrash for a long time. There was always a quality about it which I could never really pin down, that made my head feel like someone had taken their index finger and jabbed it repeatedly into the base of my skull. Then I shared a living space with an individual who played guitar in a certain well known San Francisco Bay area thrash band. Conversations happened. Horizons broadened. The rest, as they say, is history.
Track 1) “Silhouettes” The beginning of this song sort of made me feel like I was taking a slow motion jump off a cliff to land in a raging river below. Crazy fast drumming and guitar riffs will hit you like a crashing wave on this track and throughout the whole album. I know...you're thinking fast drums and riffs are on every thrash album that ever lived. Sure. However, not all of them are anywhere near this good. Think silhouettes=remnants, but remnants of what once had life. “Shadows watching from the stone”
Track 2) “Woe to the Vanquished” If ever there was a song that made me want to hop in a tank and go charging with guns blazing into the heat of battle, it's this one. All reckless battle charges aside, I can really appreciate the versatility of a song like this. There's really no mistaking the subject matter here (or the whole album for that matter....). Use it as the entry music for a badass hockey team or the soundtrack of a war battalion sent in to annihilate the enemy. This is riff heavy, anthemic, headbanging magnificence. Can't you hear the crowd calling out “Woe to the vanquished!!!” I know I can.
Track 3) “Remain Violent” Dammit I love this song! The subject matter hits home with me. I know people on both sides of the debate revolving around militarized police. This song puts into words what too many have felt and does it in badass fashion. There's killer guitar work punctuated by perfectly placed drum accents, and a rad guitar solo prefaced by an arpeggio that feeds my urge to take up playing guitar. Definitely a memorable track. Bucket list entry: survive this song played live while standing on the front rail.
Track 4) “Shellfire” In actuality, the lyrics are inspired by the endless battles on the western front of WWI. My weird brain saw it a bit differently. This to me was like taking a journey through the mind of a combat vet who never really left the war and came back to a world that was equally as f-ed up. What once was all around and never ending is now a constant nightmare inside the head where one relives that hell. Intense instrumentals and vocals. This is exactly as it should be.
Track 5) “Descending Blade” The quintissential thrash tune if you ask me......The guitars are seriously tight, which adds to the blossoming sense of impending doom in my opinion. If you want a happy ending to your song subject matter, this ain't the place to be.
Track 6) “Spectral Asylum” I found this to be a lot more epic than I would expect from a thrash band. Honestly, if Edgar Allan Poe wrote thrash band lyrics, this is probably how it would sound. It feels like a great riff built around a scary trip through the mind of an unstable individual. Also solos. They. Are. Killer.
Track 7) “Divinity of Flesh” This line says it all. “My soul will not perish. Long after I'm gone. My words will live on.....Divinity! Divinity of flesh!” Rapid fire drums and guitar segue into soaring riffs and precision drum beats. Throw in some lyrics that make you think about what you will leave behind on this blue dot of ours, and solos from a dude that can play the shit out of his instrument (holy shit, man....I'm impressed!) and you've got a track that I feel like I'm underselling by calling it “stand out”.
Track 8) “When the Guns Fell Silent” I'm telling you, if you're any kind of riff junkie like me, you will love this song. The guitars create this great chasm of scary but awe inspiring sound that I was more than happy to fall into. There's such a sense of finality created here that it skirts the edge of mental exhaustion. It takes me on a rollercoaster ride of chaos tumbling down to it's stopping point, and it's fucking beautiful.
Okay, I need to explore thrash more often....
Warbringer....Woe to the Vanquished...released March 31 via Napalm Records/Century Media
Buy it, stream it, love it, and fucking thrash! You won't regret it....though your neighbors might.