REVIEW: SIEGE OF POWER – “Warning Blast”
Formed in 2013, Siege of Power boasts a star-studded line-up to die for. Siege of Power is made up of current and past members of legendary bands like Autopsy, Asphyx, Hail of Bullets to name a few. ‘Warning Blast’, releasing on September 7th on Metal Blade Records, will be their debut full-length album.
Taking influences from a range of genres from death metal to punk, the music takes a no nonsense approach to these genres. They started off under the name of First Class Elite with a split called ‘Grime! Greed! Gore!’ in 2014, taking the death metal / hardcore / crossover route. Chris Reifert was part of the split through the band Violation Wound, and he later joined the FCE members to officially form Siege of Power. The status of FCE as a project is unknown.
‘Warning Blast’ is a breezy fast paced hardcore and crossover influenced death metal album running a little under 45 minutes. With 18 tracks on the list, the tracks are short and to the point, which leaves them no scope to beat around the bush. The band piles up one riff after another in quick succession, which makes the album seem more like a compilation rather than an album with a flow. That was my major concern with the album. While tracks stand well on their own, their position on the album or proximity to other tracks make less sense to the point of being interchangeable.
When it comes to the vocals, Reifert works perfectly here as you would expect from the legend, whether it’s the doomier grinding tracks or the punky zipping ones. Production-wise the album finds itself to be on the cleaner and plastic side of the production, especially with the guitar mixing. I believe a more murkier sound would have done the album more good, especially considering the early crossover and thrash roots the album is influenced from.
The most fun parts for me were the sections where the band incorporates solid death-doom in the tracks. It does seem like taking time to develop riff continuations like in these sections provide good results, and I would like to hear more from the band if this is one of the directions they would take. Stand out tracks for me are “Bulldozing Skulls”, “Warning Blast” and “The Cold Room”, the third being the first single they released.
‘Warning Blast’ is a collection of disjoint ideas strung together loosely. Some of these ideas have potential to grow into full-blown structures, but it is premature to say what the direction will be here onwards. Regardless, Siege of Power’s attempt is more towards creating a no frills fun death metal crossover album than create any kind of a larger musical narrative to the project, and in that regard it kinda works.