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Warforged – The Grove/Sundial Award winner

The Grove/Sundial
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 November 2022, 5:19 AM

WARFORGED is a Progressive/Blackened Death Metal band, hailing from the windy city of Chicago, Illinois, USA. Formed in 2012, this is the band’s sophomore full-length, and contains nine songs. “No Land Man” is the first. Heavy drums carry the opening rhythm, followed by the main riff. Bass rolls in, and the heavy weight of the song is realized. The sound is dissonant, and the vocals are near guttural. Some clean elements mix in a bit later. This is a fairly unique sound, with attention to songwriting. “Hymn of Broken Teeth” is a bit stronger out of the gate. The bass guitar assures the sound stays heavier than a black hole, while Progressive rhythms develop in the guitar work.

“Sheridan Road” presents a total change in sound, with acoustical guitars and clean vocals. The melodies and vocals harmonies they build are sophisticated. As it continues, it begins to more from a man to a creature…he grows horns, long fingernails, a tail, and hideous facial features. “Self Destruct Seminar” is a short, two-and-a-half-minutes of aggressive vocals and ultra-heavy guitar work. “Bliss Joined to the Bane” features some electronic elements, as the band’s pockets grow deeper. There are melodies buried within the muck, but they are subtle. Dissonant elements are as present as soft melodies sprinkled throughout the song.

“Burning Days” is heavy and discordant until clean vocals pop up in the chorus, washing away the dirt from earlier. This lumbering song is about as heavy as I have heard this year from any band. “House of Resentment” features more powerful and dissonant sounds until some clean tones seep in at the half-way point. This is detailed songwriting where the thickness of the sound never wanes. “The Place That Breaks Your Bones” has excellent bass guitar parts, and just enough melody to keep it from being a total blackout. Clean vocals come in at the chorus and wrestle firmly with the heavier sound. The lead guitar work here is excellent as well. “Painted Heart” closes the album. It begins with tense clean tones with a storm cloud forming in the background. Big, chunky bass notes roll in with harsh vocals, but the clean leads provide a strong contrast. Some melodies develop a bit down the road, but the black cloud still hangs, growing ever frightful. By the time the downpour comes, you are prepared, and your sins are washed away.

Hanshi says: Never judge a book by it’s cover. I saw the band name, the fact that they were from the States, and some of the song titles, and I was like, “ok, here comes another tiring sound that I have probably heard before.” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Heavy, Progressive elements abound here, and there is a very careful detail to the songwriting. If ever I heard an album that was both impossibly cumbersome but also graceful and opulent, this is it. I will never make assumptions about American Metal again.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. No Land Man
2. Hymn of Broken Teeth
3. Sheridan Road
4. Self-Destruct Seminar
5. Bliss Joined to the Bane
6. Burning Days
7. House of Resentment
8. The Place That Breaks Your Bones
9. Painted Heart
Jason Nitts – Drums
Alex Damske – Bass, Vocals
Jace Kiburz – Guitars
Max Damske – Guitars
Tim O'Brien – Vocals
Record Label: The Artisan Era


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