Warbringer - War Without End
Record Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: February 5, 2008
Many have been claiming thrash metal is finally making a comeback, and they point to bands like Lamb of God, Devildriver, and Machine Head as examples. Those people are partially right, only the style of thrash those bands play is more groove-metal oriented and isn't "real" thrash according to most metal fans. There is another thrash revival going on right now, and it's more reminiscent of the Bay Area thrash bands of the 80's (Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica). The bands leading this revival right now are Municipal Waste, Evile, and Los Angeles' Warbringer.
War Without End opens very well with the track "Total War," which will become a future metal anthem. It's difficult to resist shouting along with vocalist John Kevill as he shouts "Total warrrr!" at the end of the chorus. Kevill's vocals are very impressive and similar to those of Slayer's Tom Araya and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine. A good example of when Kevill's vocals shine is the opening of "Born to the Ruins" as he starts the song off with a high pitched shriek.
The guitar melodies provided by John Laux and Adam Carroll almost sound as good as those on some of Megadeth's earlier albums. They provide some excellent headbanging riffs on this album and prove they can shred at times too ("Beneath the Waves" and "Instruments of Torture"). A lot of their riffs are repetitive, but they give the album a great vibe throughout that thrash fans will enjoy. The one song in which there is a brief change in feel is "At the Crack of Doom." It has a slower intro than the other tracks, but it picks up after about a minute, and the thrash vibe picks up where it left off.
There are two things keeping this album from being a future classic in metal music: it's repetitive and it doesn't outdo the great thrash albums of the 80's. So if you're listening to Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss or Megadeth's Rust in Peace right before hearing War Without End for the first time, there's going to be disappointment. But compared to "thrash" metal in recent years, War Without End is one of the most impressive albums to come out of the new millennium from one of the front-runners of the thrash revival.