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Warbringer - Weapons of Tomorrow Award winner

Weapons of Tomorrow
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 06 May 2020, 8:59 AM

WARBRINGER is a 5-Piece Thrash Metal band from Ventura, California. This is their sixth full-length album in 16 years of existence. They released the excellent ‘’Woe to the Vanquished’’ back in 2017 and their toured extensively in 2019 with ENFORCER in a 30 shows in 30 days tour, which is absolutely insane! I was able to see that tour back on the 30th of September, 2019, the date of my 38th birthday. That was one hell of a tour to say the least and a great way to celebrate by birthday with some dear friends of mine. They are back with a vengeance with ‘’Weapons of Tomorrow’’.

About 15 years ago , the New Wave of Old School Thrash Metal hit the streets with bands like MUNICIPAL WASTE, AVENGER OF BLOOD, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, LAZARUS A.D, EVILE among countless others. They flooded the market with their nod to the old school. One of these bands was WARBRINGER, the Ventura California band came out in 2006 with their EP ‘’One by One, the Wicked Fall’’ with ties to this new movement throughout North America and beyond. These bands were tired of a lot of Thrash Metal bands that changed too much since their heyday and they wanted to come back to the roots of the genre, a genre that is near and dear to my own heart because it was the first genre I really got into. I believe fans were clamoring for something fresh yet something that was more apparent to early to mid eighties and they didn’t miss the boat when this movement came by.

Continuing with the War and Violence lyrical themes, WARBRINGER hits hard with songs about political corruption, what the future holds in this constant state of war, the inevitable World War 3 and the effects of all of these of humankind as a whole. They talk about World War I and on ‘’The Glorious End’’ is the dialogue between a dad and his son about the casualties and effects of war, it’s quite gripping. They were always on the cutting edge of lyrics and they were mature beyond their years on their first releases and they continue in that trend obviously. They are thought provoking yet a social and political critique especially on the state of United States of America in the last few years. They don’t pull any punches and they are intelligent lyrics without compromising what they bring forth on the musical side of things.

This is their longest album to date with clocking at more than 50 minutes, it’s a full-on Thrash Assault for the ages. It’s also an album where they experimented with Black Metal shrieking on ‘’Defiance of Fate’’ which is quite the departure but they did it the best way possible. I am not the biggest fan of Blackened vocals but when it’s done right, it’s fine by me. They wanted obviously to do something else and they nailed it right on the head. Also, a move to longer songs is very risky and a lot of bands fell in the water because their tried that but failed miserably. Thankfully WARBRINGER does not fall into that category and the album does not seem long and goes by really fast. It doesn’t drag on and it works surprisingly well because you can fall in the pattern of overabundance which is not the case on ‘’Weapons of Tomorrow’’.

This is the best album of the last 15 years in the revival of the genre bar none. The resurgence of the genre because of that movement has helped previous bands to bring their A-Game so to speak. The older bands had to deliver something more relevant because of a lot of the newer bands outclassed them. The emergence of bands like WARBRINGER helped out the other bands to get out of the gutter and get back to their roots. They have a much more polished and cerebral sound with intelligent lyrics, distancing themselves from a lot of more less-serious Thrash Metal bands out there.

The opening one-two punch of ‘’Firepower Kills’’ and ‘’The Black Hand Reaches Out’’ kicks off the album on the right foot and you can compared these two opening tracks to anything Thrash Metal has gotten out these last two decades or so. These are not restrained songs yet they have that refine and mature approach, with greater production value with the added flair of major 80’s Thrash influences. They remain faithful to their style and influences yet being quite ambitious on some songs, getting out of their comfort zone without compromising anything in the long run.

2020 has been one hell of a year for Thrash Metal with great albums by HAVOK and TESTAMENT and WARBRINGER delivers an all-time memorable classic and they outclass anything old and new in the 21st century. A dynamic, versatile effort with the angst of their forefathers yet crafting the evolution of the sound of Thrash Metal in the next logical step.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Firepower Kills
2. The Black Hand Reaches Out
3. Crushed Beneath the Tracks
4. Defiance of Fate
5. Unraveling
6. Heart of Darkness
7. Power Unsurpassed
8. Outer Reaches
9. Notre-Dame (King of Fools)
10. Glorious End
Chase Bryant – Bass
Carlos Cruz – Drums
Adam Carroll – Guitars
John Kevill – Vocals
Chase Becker – Guitars
Record Label: Napalm Records


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