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Warrior Within - In Darkness Act I

Warrior Within
In Darkness Act I
by Max Elias at 20 July 2019, 6:36 PM

WARROR WITHIN—the name even sounds epic and medieval. The slow, marching intro of ‘Stronger Than Death and Time’ certainly gives that impression, but when the guitars come in the story changes. The riffing is modern thrash glory rife with cutting single-note lines and neck-wrenching gallops, and the vocals are a harsh bark. The chorus eases up on the intensity, but the gritty thrash tone remains. The solo that follows is not typical thrash playing at all though; it is mostly long, wailing bent notes with some melodic scalar runs thrown in. Then the band returns to the verse and the ferocity ramps back up. The song closes with a somber fade, and then about ten seconds of dead air that I hope was just something found on my copy for some reason.

‘Persist’ opens heavy and fast, scarcely giving the listener time to collect themselves as jarring barks punctuate the furious guitar attack. This is much more in line with what I think when I think of modern thrash—at least when it comes to the bands I enjoy. The small intro solo is again more on the melodic side. Though vocally and tempo-wise this band is very much 80s thrash-inspired, the riffs sound like they borrow equally from NWOBHM, just angrier. ‘Taker’ is a mid-tempo, more anthemic song. Its laxity does not diminish its power, and the gruffer vocals enhance the urgency, even if they are questionably decipherable. The heft of the drums make it hard not to bang your head.

The final song, ‘Opus’, opens with a touch of melody, that I wish would have gone on a little longer, as it seems like the only thing I haven’t heard this band do so far. But in the style of thrash they play, the riffs have a sufficient amount of melody in them to remain interesting; in fact ‘Opus’ is littered with arpeggio riffs that tread the line between rhythm and lead. The reason for the prevalence of more interesting parts here is probably that this mostly instrumental. That gives them more room to explore structurally and borderline forces the guitars to assume a more active melody role. The riffs underneath vocals are more bludgeoning. The constant call-and response of harsh attack and Maiden-like fills keeps the closing track interesting.

A quick Spotify search tells me that this is the band’s first recording, and for a debut it Is certainly impressive. As it is the length of an EP (and came out last year), I hope I’m not unreasonable to expect a full-length coming from them soon. I’ll certainly be listening to it when it comes, as I am pretty happy with what I’ve heard here. It isn’t a new style, but it’s a well-executed one, and WARRIOR WITHIN does have a distinct approach to it.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Stronger Than Death and Time
2. Persist
3. Taker
4. Opus
Lineup:
Scott Macintyre - Vocals
Tass Hadoulis - Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Toli Hadoulis - Bass
Dan Stixx - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 06 December 2019
 

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