(8/10) Thrash metal and the Bay Area are more than strongly connected. But the American West coast has more places that act as the home base for good metal bands. Ventura, California is one of these places. It’s the hometown of thrash metal machine Warbringer who started in 2004 as Onslaught with changing the name to Warbringer to not get mixed up with the British metal icons.
Warbringer never really made it to the top even though they released more than solid records.
„Woe to the Vanquished“ is he newest sonic assault, featuring eight new songs. This doesn’t sound a lot but the five-piece band went for some extraordinary long tracks that made it on this release, which is already a different approach than what ended on „IV: Empires Collapse“.
And there is far more different. The band had to go through a total renewal since band members left Warbringer and there was a period when the band’s future wasn’t a given. It was Adam Carroll and John Kevill, both founding members, who managed to get out of this emotional darkness by establishing a new rhythm section with Carlos Cruz (who played in the band already earlier) and Jessie Sanchez on bass. Chase Becker completed the new line-up and things could go forward.
“Woe to he Vanquished” is Warbringer’s first album for Napalm Records and it’s a bombshell. Eight thrash anthems are blending technical capabilities and raw energy to a cocktail that acts as boost of adrenaline.
The by far longest tune comes at the end. „When the Guns Fell Silent“ is an 11 minutes opus that we haven’t heard from the band before. The number ‚11’ has anyhow a much deeper meaning than just being the length of the songs that actually has a running time of 11 minutes and 11 seconds. The song addresses the insanity of war and the suffering that result out of it. Warbringer tells that story by using the end of World War I as a transmitter, which ended with a truce on November 11 at 11:11.
From a musical point of view „When the Guns Fell Silent“ is he most ambitious song that Warbringer ever wrote. It tries to capture the entire emotional width of the described situation, which they managed very well.
After having listened to the album several times I must say that I liked what I heard. Warbringer released a merciless album featuring thrash songs that sounds fresh, brutal and dynamic. Warbringer is still hungry and they get this message across in a pretty good way. Warbringer in 2017 is an even better oiled metal machine that steamrolls everything and everybody.
- Woe to the Vanquished
- Remain Violent
- Descending Blade
- Spectral Asylum
- Divinity of Flesh
- When the Guns Fell Silent
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release Date EU: March 31st, 2017