Thrash metal is probably my favorite style of metal. I was but a wee lad when thrash surfaced in the 80s. I have a special fondness for it because it felt like something that I could call my own. The older kids had Black Sabbath and Kiss and Deep Purple from the 70s, the kids my age were into all kinds of pop crap, and I wanted something to stand apart from the rest. And while I liked metal standards like Ozzy and the Scorpions, thrash just clicked with me. It was new and exciting and I sought out all the thrash bands I could find. By the late 80s I was gorged on all the thrash metal available and feeling quite content. Much to my dismay that all changed in the 90s. Eventually death metal and black metal gained ground and brought me some solace, but I always missed thrash.
I was overjoyed when bands started playing thrash again (New Wave of Thrash?) Thrash was about taking the heavy and technical aspects of metal and combining it with the frenzy and fury of punk. One of the bands to bring back thrash and really do justice to this metal subgenre was Warbringer. When “War Without End” was released I devoured it. It had such a raw and stripped down sound compared to the wall of sound productions common in death and black metal. Warbringer made thrash that was lean and in fighting form. Just listen to “War Without End” and tell me John Kevill is not channeling Paul Baloff. Good stuff, man.
Fast forward to 2011 and today Warbringer is releaseing their third album “World Torn Asunder.” They are a little older, perhaps a little wiser, but no less pissed off sounding than they were two albums ago. The production is a little cleaner and meatier, but the thrash is still strong with these Jedi metal masters. The last few months waiting for this disc to drop were tough, but now that it has arrived it is going on regular iPhone rotation.
As I mentioned already, the production this time around is once again improved. The songs are still built for speed and not over-burdened with any extra baggage. They are sleek and technical and cut like a knife. Like a “Living Weapon” you might say. Nine of the ten songs are the thrash you expect from Warbringer and the tenth song, “Behind the Veils of Night” is an instrumental that shows an aptitude for styles outside of thrash. Is this a preview of a more varied Warbringer we might see in the future? If so, I’ve no doubt they will crush at whatever they do. And if not, I’m always happy with thrash.
I hear Warbringer are going to be out touring with Lazarus A.D., Landmine Marathon and Diamond Plate. I know that tour is going to be laying waste to every town they visit. They are even coming to my neck of the woods, so i'll be there checking it out.