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WARBRINGER Woe To The Vanquished

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Friday, April 7, 2017 @ 1:41 PM


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WARBRINGER
Woe To The Vanquished

2017 Napalm Records




“To the victor goes the spoils, sound the drums of war. Raising high our banners, the legion marches forth …”

Ventura, California thrashers WARBRINGER have released their fifth studio album, Woe To The Vanquished; an album I believe will place them in the upper echelon of the American thrash scene. This is a lean, mean, mature album composed of ambitious songs and absolutely no wasted moments. This is an impressive feat, because there have been some lineup changes since 2013’s IV: Empires Collapse. Singer John Kevill and drummer Carlos Cruz remain, and they brought back guitarist Adam Carroll, who we last heard on 2011’s Worlds Torn Asunder. Jessie Sanchez (BONDED BY BLOOD) is the band’s new bassist and Chase Becker is the band’s new second guitarist.

“Silhouettes” establishes the horrors-of-war theme right out of the gate. This song is a chilling account of the victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whose shadows were burned into the ground where they once stood. The video can be viewed on KNAC.COM right HERE. The title track “Woe To The Vanquished” is an instant thrashterpiece featuring impassioned vocals and technical blastbeats. “Remain Violent” chronicles police harassment, and is without question another classic, with many fist-raising, anthemic moments. It is probably my favorite track on the album, and the video can be viewed on KNAC.COM right HERE.

“Shellfire” is a blistering track straight from the battlefield, featuring explosions and Kevill’s soaring vocals. “Descending Blade” is a very cool song written from a sniper’s point of view. “Spectral Asylum” slows things down a little to take the listener on a journey inside the dungeon of the mind. “Divinity Of Flesh” acknowledges man’s microscopic existence in the universe, yet his ability to live on through wisdom. “My life may be short, and soon I’ll be gone…but knowledge lives on, and that is the power of flesh”. Some aggressive tempo changes make this track another winner.

The album closes with the epic track “When The Guns Fell Silent”, which was inspired by the James Riordan novel of the same name, set in the early 1900s during World War I. The track features a spoken intro from noted English poet Siegfried Sassoon’s War Poems. Sassoon’s poetry decried the abhorrence of life and death in the trenches during World War I. The song is engaging in the tradition of IRON MAIDEN’s “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” and ICED EARTH’s “Dante’s Inferno”. At 11:12 in length, it is nearly as long as those songs. “When The Guns Fell Silent” is a noteworthy composition in WARBRINGER’s catalog, and one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.

Woe To The Vanquished was produced by Mike Plotnikoff (FEAR FACTORY, IN FLAMES) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (SLAYER, PANTERA). This is worth mentioning, because this album sounds amazing. Cover artwork was provided by the great Andreas Marschall (BLIND GUARDIAN, SODOM).

I absolutely love the attitude and presentation of this band. They get it—and they bring it—both on record and in a concert setting. This is my favorite WARBRINGER album since Worlds Torn Asunder. Fans of KREATOR and SLAYER will enjoy the passion here and should already be fans. WARBRINGER are a prime example of why I am a diehard thrash fan.

Woe To The Vanquished is available now in CD, Colored Gatefold LP, and a Super Deluxe Wooden Box Warchest Edition featuring too many goodies to list. Check this album out!

4.5 Out Of 5.0

Grab your copy of Woe To The Vanquished in the KNAC.COM More Store HERE.


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