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Thunderwar - Wolfpack

by Kayla Hutton at 09 May 2018, 6:46 AM

Founded on January 1, 2013, is Poland's THUNDERWAR. Having recently signed with Lifeforce Records the bands' 1st release through the label entitled “Wolfpack” comes out on 05/25/18. THUNDERWAR self-released “The Birth of Thunder” in 2013 and “Blackstorm” in 2016. While they are still a relatively new band they are sure to engage fans of OBITUARY, ASPHYX, and UNLEASHED. Applying just a few elements of black and death metal to their Polish metal sound, THUNDERWAR has nested well into their creation.

Short E.P.’s are a great way to become introduced to new bands as the investment cost is low so if it sucks, it’s no big loss, and if it’s good, well, it’s like an empty bag of chips that leave you salivating for more. The latter being true in this case and thankfully the material on the self-releases will tie me over. Waking up to the E.P.’s title track “Wolfpack” is enough to get the blood flowing and get ya pumped up for the day. An open riff is made more intense as the signature death “raaaaurr” comes in and sets this track in motion. Sounding much like a cross between OBITUARY and ASPHYX for vocals, the lead guitar work and the cleanly played intro inspire an atmosphere of dungeon-like dim light. The drums and tempo kept are what give THUNDERWAR a bit of fast death metal rhythm.

When “Circle of Ruins” vocals kicked in I swore John Tardy from OBITUARY was doing a guest spot. I really don’t want to throw the death metal label around, because, in the music, it kind of isn’t. Comparable to when NEVERMORE started out maybe even a little ICED EARTH as far as the music goes. There is more harmony and melody in some of it. The vocals are what is going to pigeonhole them as a death band. The clean guitar start just had more feel to it then a dark death clean guitar part. This track has “single” written all over it. Commercial Appeal. The downside, the backing vocals. Just, sorry guys, but, ick. That and having a singer that isn’t ready to do clean vocal parts, but adding some verb and chorus anyways, no, just no. The clean vocal has DARK TRANQUILITYProjector” potential. It’s just not there yet.

Let us get to the DARKTHRONE cover. “The Winds They Called The Dungeon Shaker.” Yeah. THUNDERWAR nailed it. Actually, I like their version a little better. Hey, don’t hate. It’s really good. A modern rendition of a classic. It’s accurate to the original and the sound quality of course helps. It’s easy to just pick up and play a cover, it’s hard to do it justice without butchering it to all hell by not learning all of it, or adding things that are out of place. THUNDERWAR paid tribute well by being accurate and not deviating but still throwing in their style.

As I come to my final conclusion, THUNDERWAR is a good band, skilled players, diversity in style, solid song structure, and the melody incorporated to what is supposed to be death metal ads an original touch. I’m also biased as I love OBITUARY and damn Kamil sounds so much like John that I love it. I would listen with an openly objective ear, don’t expect brutal death metal that rips skin and grinds teeth. The power of aggression can and has been delivered in a little melodically. These guys aren’t veterans either, but you can hear the room for growth and expansion.
The sound was a little muddy on both PC and in the car but with a few minor adjustments, it gave my sub a good modest rumbling while the music was still audible. “Wolfpack” offers a break from the monotony of blast beats and raging male testosterone playing at warp speed.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Wolfpack
2. Woodland Spirit
3. Circle of Runes
4. Thunderer
5. The Winds They Called the Dungeon Shaker (Darkthrone cover)
Kamil 'Madness' Mandes - Vocals
Witold Ustapiuk - Guitar
Maciej 'Olszak' Olszewski - Guitar
Vit Argasiński - Drums
Record Label: Lifeforce Records


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