Warbringer – Worlds Torn Asunder – 2011
Warbringer, hailing from Los Angeles, are the best new wave of thrash metal band period. No other band can match their intensity, speed, complexity and ferocity. I consider their second album Waking into Nightmares to be the best thrash metal album since Seasons of the Abyss from ’91 and their third album Worlds Torn Asunder is far from being the weaker, weedier brother of their discography.
This album builds upon the style perfected on the previous album; complex riffs and time signatures, varying drum patterns and rhythms, blistering leads and intense passionate vocals. The album is a monumental riff fest with catchy melodies and harmonies in every song coupled with absolutely shredding solos allowing the two guitarists to show case their phenomenal thrash writing talent, and there’s even the required “look we can play nicely” instrumental piece.
Warbringer are the undisputed masters of the half time feel thrash riff, something I like to call the thrash time feel. The band seems to know exactly when to take a riff that is starting to get old in a song and half time the drums to completely change the feel and direction and get heads banging and pits swirling, and luckily there’s no shortage of thrash time feels on this record.
Lyrically, it’s a thrash album so if you’re after fine poetry and intelligent prose you need to look elsewhere, for the genre however it is perfect. All the key Warbringer topics are present; violence, death, daemons and war and the token thrash gang vocals and shout-alongy bits are present throughout the album.
By far the best thing about the album is John Kevill’s vocal performance. As far as I’m concerned there is no finer front man in metal at the moment and this album is testament to that as well as his fantastic live performances complete with shit eating grin and machine gun microphone. His performance, dripping with enthusiasm and power, is one that on more than one occasion raises the hairs on your neck, particularly the fantastic bridge section in Echoes From The Void. Whilst the vocals are the highlight of the album the rest of the band’s performances are also amongst the finest of their careers. New members, Carlos Cruz on drums and Andy Laux on bass, bring a new dimension to the band with more complex lines and fills and make the band’s sound more complex and sonically interesting than the usual straight forward Thrash drum and bass section.
Whilst not being as strong a collection of songs as their previous outing Worlds Torn Asunder is still a solid thrash album and one Warbringer can be proud of. Without straying from their sound they have created a different sounding album whilst still maintaining the high quality of musician ship and song writing, kind of like Slayer did following Reign in Blood with South of Heaven.
Complete with Dan Seagrave artwork Warbringer’s third album is as fine a slab of Thrash as you’ll hear from any other band in the genre, if not better.