Written by Alex Stojanovic
Woe To The Vanquished
Divinity Of Flesh
When The Guns Fell Silent
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Label: Napalm Records
John Kevill - Vocals Adam Carroll - Guitars Chase Becker - Guitars Jesse Sanchez - Bass Carlos Cruz - Drums
There's no better way of showing that Warbringer is back with a vengeance than starting off with a machine-gun riff, followed by a gut-wrenching scream from Kevill, as heard on the album's monstrous opening track "Sillhouettes". Man, this song just rips! There's two different tempos heard on the track where the chorus accelerates in tempo, making for an awesome transition from verse to chorus. Lyrically, we see the band taking potshots at the current state of "police vs. people" in several areas of America on this album with "Remain Violent". With sledgehammer riffs and a crowd-chanting chorus, this song begs to be put into the setlist. Many people might relate to the line "These streets that I called my home are starting to look like a combat zone."
If you love your thrash nice and fast, like me, there's a great handful of thrashers to be found here like "Woe To The Vanquished", "Descending Blade" and the record's fastest track "Shellfire", which is the band's fastest song to date. Throughout the record, Carlos Cruz continues to prove why he is the definitive drummer for Warbringer with the intricacy of his fills and the overall accuracy. As I mentioned above, the band incorporate some black metal style riffs and blast beats on the record, something the band are no strangers to. They are prevalent on "Divinity Of Flesh", making it more of a melodic black metal song mixed with thrash, but it's one of the record's catchiest cuts with the guitar harmonies.
The tempo is taken down a few notches on "Spectral Asylum" and we even hear Kevill dabble in death metal with his vocals here. However when you think of his voice, it's suited for thrash, and he's one of the best out there. We now arrive at the record's closer, the 11-minute epic "When The Guns Fell Silent" which can be considered as Warbringer's "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner". Kevill's spoken word intro gives a dark and eerie vibe and Carroll and Becker showcase their prowess at melody in the guitar department throughout the song and unleash some soaring riffs and melodic solos, but the song goes into heavier territory for a short bit around the 6:30 mark.
Now there might be some people out there that wish there were another two or three songs on the record because there's only 8 songs here, but sometimes less is more. Plus the record is 41 minutes in total. After a couple of years of hitting some bumps in the road with the lineup changes, Woe To The Vanquished sees Warbringer returning just as lethal as ever and they have brewed up a storm of menacing riffs, fiery vocals and overall quality thrash, just how we like it. For me as a fan, it was well worth the wait, and I'm sure it will be the same for all the fans out there when they hear it.
Highs: "Silhouettes", "Woe To The Vanquished", "Remain Violent", "Divinity Of Flesh" and "When The Guns Fell Silent"
Lows: For some, 8 songs might not be enough.
Final Rating: 9/10