REVIEW: WARBRINGER – “Weapons Of Tomorrow”
The thrash revival of the 2000s produced a lot of copycat bands, happy to ape the music of yesteryear without bringing anything new to the table. Warbringer has always been different, since their debut ‘War Without End’ they have experimented and refined their sound, becoming a much-needed unique voice within the current thrash metal scene. Warbringer plays thrash metal, but the influence of death, black and modern metal are more evident than ever on ‘Weapons of Tomorrow.’
“Firepower Kills” starts the album off strong with a blast of thrash that channels early era Exodus. It’s one of the most straight forward, in your face tracks on the record, and sets the tone perfectly. There are some great lyrics here, too; I especially liked the closer “In a burning flash of white / the future looked so bright.” Can’t get much more metal than that!
“The Black Hand Reaches Out” is bound to be a fan favorite, and I’m not surprised it they chose it for a music video. John Kevill gets a chance to flex his impressive vocal range here, switching between guttural death metal-ish growls and rapid-fire refrains. The star of the show here, though, is undoubtedly the guitars and that solo in the second half.
“Crushed Beneath the Tracks” doesn’t quite match up to the first two songs, it’s a solid piece of thrash but doesn’t do anything to stand out. Fortunately, “Defiance of Fate brings” the attention back, mainly because it’s unexpected. Imagine if Pantera made a black metal power ballad, and you wouldn’t be far off. It’s strange, it’s different, but it works!
“Unraveling” ramps up the energy again before “Heart of Darkness” brings us to the edge of into black metal territory once more. Having the bass actually audible in the mix (Yes, I’m still bitter about ‘…And Justice for All’) was a smart move as Chase Bryant’s sinister pulsing bassline underpins the song and drives up the momentum.
“Power Unsurpassed” has been out for a while as a single, but it sounds better now due to a punchier mix (at least to my admittedly untrained ear when comparing to the YouTube upload). “Outer Reaches” is the second song that I feel doesn’t quite match the quality of the rest of the album. It spends a little too long meandering through generic chugging, and I found myself skipping it after a few listens.
“Notre Dame (King of Fools)” and “Glorious End,” fortunately, close out the album with more style. The varied dynamics in Notre Dame are fantastic, and it’s up there with my favorite Warbringer tracks. “Glorious End” is a little longer, but rather than overstaying its welcome, it sounds like a culmination of the entire album into one song, drawing the various styles into one powerful sonic blast. A glorious end indeed, I’d happily take a whole album of these longer slightly more progressive songs.
Warbringer’s ‘Weapons of Tomorrow’ is another great album that will please fans and has the potential to widen their audience further due to its confident blending of genres and excellent songwriting. There are a few forgettable parts here and there, but for the most part, ‘Weapons of Tomorrow’ will keep you hooked and further cement Warbringer’s place as one of the very best modern thrash bands.