Released by Napalm Records
Release Date: April 24th, 2020
Genre: Thrash Metal
John Kevill – Vocals
Adam Carroll – Guitars
Carlos Cruz – Drums
Chase Becker – Guitars
Chase Bryant – Bass
The Black Hand Reaches Out
Crushed Beneath The Tracks
Defiance Of Fate
Heart Of Darkness
Notre Dame (King Of Fools)
Warbringer was formed in 2004 as an old school thrash metal band in Ventura, California. Following a classic approach of their roots in their first studio releases and a hiatus of four years, the quintet has returned to action with a changed lineup and a different direction to their sound. The first results of this renewal became public with their fifth studio release “Woe To The Vanquished” in 2017, where they have managed to incorporate black metal influences into their thrash metal arsenal in a very successful way.
Warbringer’s new album is entitled “Weapons Of Tomorrow” and it’s their second offering via Napalm Records. For this occasion, the band has chosen to continue on the same path and build their new material upon its predecessor. Despite their huge improvement with their previous release, Warbringer still needed a record where they’d show they could keep their standards high or even bring them to the next level. The band has always possessed the right weapons to climb to the top of the thrash metal mountain. Even though they have created many great songs in the past, they haven’t yet released the product that could be defined as the absolute killer in their discography. To achieve this mission, Warbringer has chosen to enrich their music with various ingredients: the addition of more black, death but also progressive elements have an outstanding effect on their thrash metal compositions and the band has finally reached the massive improvement that the fans of the genre were waiting for.
A great thrash album should give a “punchy” feeling to the listener right from the start and this is exactly what Warbringer does with the opener “Firepower Kills”: a huge “breaking neck” track which catches the listener pleasantly off guard and raises the adrenaline immediately to the highest levels. It’s a full velocity and catchy piece of thrash metal assault where the guitar work smashes everything with the surgical precision of the riffs, the screaming solos, whilst the mid-tempo drumming sounds dangerously powerful. “The Black Hand Reaches Out” follows with a catchy, potent, but effective rhythm based on the meaty guitar riffs which are in perfect symmetry with the raw barking vocals. “Crushed Between The Tracks” is a solid, massive piece with an evident death, black metal touch to the guitar and drum work, which brings out a brilliant result. These tracks manage to keep the excitement strong, but the best is yet to come.
“Defiance of Fate” is where Warbringer starts experimenting with themselves. The song brings a different dynamic to the record with the acoustic guitar melody intro until it shifts into an even darker, haunting ambient with the intense black metal scent on the harsh vocal parts. The sound remains loyal to the thrashcore with thick riffs and an exceptional lead guitar work which brings up beautiful emotions with the harmonics that strongly remind of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This song swings from the initial melodrama to the final triumphant melody and has a mindblowing effect on the listener. This leads to “Unravelling”, a thunderous thrash metal attack, a classic song that feels less original than the previous ones which could give the impression that Warbringer has reached their limit of exploration with the exceptional “Defiance Of Fate”. Fortunately, the facts prove that the truth is completely different.
What follows next is the demonstration of the real sonic range of the American band, an outstanding track entitled “Heart Of Darkness” that manages to hook the ear of the listener right away. The band turns back to their dim, emotive side with this astonishing piece of progressive thrash melody wrapped into a frozen, black metal veil. The stupendous guitar work that swings between the genres in a natural way with the racing blast beats and the thrash vocal parts work together to deliver a brilliant song. The following “Power Unsurpassed” and “Outer Reaches” are two straightforward thrash smashers, but the black metal influences are more intense on the second track.
The penultimate tune “Notre Dame (King Of Fools)” is another piece of exceptional musicianship, where the progressive thrash melodies are enhanced by death and black metal elements. The stellar guitar work with glorious solos and heavy riffs leads the game in this continuous interchanging from rage and aggression to gloomy bittersweet emotions.
The final track “Glorious End” delivers an epic narrative from the perspective of a soldier in the First World War, meanwhile, the music flows from a grandiose atmosphere to a painful feeling of destruction.
“Weapons Of Tomorrow” is a stunning piece of studio work from one of the most interesting bands in the thrash metal scene. Warbringer’s research and discovery of personal identity have come to terms with this wild ride into excellent music and lyricism. The diversity of the material and the successful incorporation of those influences into their classic thrash roots keeps up the excitement during the whole journey. “Weapons Of Tomorrow” is the strongest studio release of Warbringer to date, a pleasantly surprising and entertaining thrash metal masterpiece.
Written by: Katerina Paisoglou
My Global Mind – Staff Writer