War of Ages
Return To Life


2.5
average

Review

by TooManyFriends USER (11 Reviews)
April 28th, 2012 | 23 replies | 5,371 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Here, while War Of Ages do a commendable job at constructing a solid metalcore album, when you catch yourself nodding off during a song and saying “hey, didn’t I hear this riff 3 tracks ago?”, something is seriously flawed.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

“Is that a new song As I Lay Dying ? No….? Oh, well then, is it by Killswitch Engage….? Huh? Still no? War of Ages…. who is that?”

Several days ago, I had a couple of friends over at my house for a good, old-fashioned bout of friendly gaming, popcorn, and action movie watching. As we engaged in rather fraternal discussion of some of our favorite metal songs and artists, on my stereo, I looped “Immortal”, the opening track of War of Ages’ most recent brainchild, Return to Life. Instructing my friends to guess exactly what band this was, I was greeted with precisely the same dialogue written above. Unfortunately, I assume it’d be safe to say that this would be the response received from pretty much any unfamiliar metalcore fan at this point. War of Ages has never been much for originality., you see. A large percentage of their songs happen to consist of the universally accepted metalcore mayhem you can all but assume you’ve heard before, albeit in a slightly more/less interesting fashion. Here, while War Of Ages do a commendable job at constructing a solid metalcore album, when you catch yourself nodding off during a song and saying “hey, didn’t I hear this riff 3 tracks ago?”, something is seriously flawed.

Upon brief inspection, one can very easily come to the conclusion that War of Ages is a band that both knows who they are and what they are trying to achieve. Throughout it’s entire duration, it is virtually undeniable that is a persistent niche War of Ages have planted themselves in. While this may rub off as having a rather calculated feel, the band uses this to their advantage. There are a lot of heavy, chugging riffs, gang vocals, and soaring choruses to be had here, and most of these traits are executed in a fairly impressive manner. Opener “Immortal” is a incredibly good track absolutely brimming with monstorous, stomping grooves, consistent double bass work and melodic guitar leads that would make Adam Dutkiewicz proud. This is big, unabashed, and absolutely solid metalcore, complete with genre-staple chants, varying from “ARISE! ARISE!” to “WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF PROMISE!”. While not necessarily original, it is fun as hell, and one cannot help but having even the slightest hint of an ear-to-ear grin while listening to at least one of these tracks.

Unfortunately, while consistent, Return to Life does have its moments where things begin to blend in and sound similar; very, very similar. Take out track 5, the all-acoustic instrumental “M.E.B.”, and you’ve got 9 tracks with extremely similar guitar leads, choruses, and riffs. If you pulled some random guy off the street and made him look at the names of the songs, listen to them, and then rearrange all the song titles, I’d be shocked if he knew the correct names to any more than 2. While you get the occasional reprieve and breath of fresh air, such as the ambient interlude and solo in “With Honor”, you will find a fairly large portion of your time here noting these songs tend to drone on and on, with no clear end to the monotony in sight. The other noticeable problem here would have to be vocalist Leroy Hamp. While he has a decent set of pipes when it comes to singing, occasionally sounding like Brandon Saller of Atreyu, the same cannot be said for his screams. The man has virtually no range, never dipping down for some low, gutteral growls, and never going up for a throat tearing high shriek or anything of the like. What you’re left with is an incredibly middle of the road screaming vocalist with more downsides than upsides; and if that isn’t bad enough, there is the occasional time on Return to Life where Hamp attempts to RAP. As if trying to achieve some “badass” effect in the beginning of “Silent Night”, Hamp spits out an incredibly weak chant/rap that literally had me holding my head in my hands, embarrassed for the song, embarrassed for Hemp, and even embarrassed for War of Ages as a whole. Just try listen to it…. it really is that bad.

If you have been searching for a band that breathes originality, or perhaps a group you feel could be “the next big thing”, turn around right now and do not return. War of Ages knows exactly what sound they are going for and who their target audience is, and they do not step even an inch out of the comfort zone with Return to Life. This album presents an interesting scenario in that it’s neither particularly disappointing or enthralling; it’s solid, yet meager, consistent, yet monotonous, fun, yet boring. If you have nothing else to do, want a new metalcore record, and don’t mind a lack of originality, by all means, check Return to Life out. If not, I can’t really recommend anything more than a passing glance.



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user ratings (37)
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Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (2)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
macadoolahicky
April 27th 2012



1835 Comments


Not even going to bother.

Shuyin
April 27th 2012



11422 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

should be interesting, i actually like this band a bit so ill give it a try.

review is nice but the first sentence feels a bit awkward, imo.

Is that a new song As I Lay Dying ?

Is that a new As I Lay Dying song?

Digging: Integral - Sercosa

TooManyFriends
April 27th 2012



585 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

whoops, sorry about that.... should have caught it while i was re-reading a few times. sucks the editing reviews feature is broken right now....

jayfatha
April 27th 2012



2883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Song of Solomon rules

Scoot
April 28th 2012



17714 Comments


the instrumental track on the last album was one of the best instrumental tracks i've ever heard

otherwise this band is pretty bad

bloc
April 28th 2012



34735 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album did have a few tracks I liked, but in general it was average like the last album. I still jam All Consuming Fire though, that song is top gun.

Digging: Messiah - Choir of Horrors

Shuyin
April 28th 2012



11422 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

'the instrumental track on the last album was one of the best instrumental tracks i've ever heard'

oh yes, i love that song.

SiliconFields
April 28th 2012



201 Comments


War of Ages being War of Ages: Okay vocals, horrible drumming, decent guitars. . same thing

Spec
April 28th 2012



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Always liked the bands vocals. The song structures are pretty boring though.

Digging: Rinoa - An Age Among Them

Strider
April 28th 2012



4598 Comments


So, this isn't better than the last album? they didn't evolve?

sspedding
April 28th 2012



4752 Comments


just checked out that Song of Solomon and it was pretty good.

botb
April 28th 2012



9630 Comments


band used to be kind of cool, probably kinda beating a dead horse at this point though

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2012



49971 Comments


This gay kid posts gay shit about this band all the time on facebook
I bet they suck

Digging: Armchairpolitician - Seven Segment Decoder

Shuyin
April 28th 2012



11422 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

they still have those kick ass guitars

macadoolahicky
April 29th 2012



1835 Comments


Oops. I bothered

SiliconFields
April 29th 2012



201 Comments


Fun live, nice guys, meh studio stuff

Spec
April 29th 2012



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll check this out today.

Spec
April 29th 2012



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's good but boring. Just like their others. Was kind of hoping they would progress.

gearhound
May 18th 2012



1 Comments


I bet most of you hardly listened to the album. And, for starters, you would have to be a complete nOOb to guess As I Lay Dying or Killswitch Engage. I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED THOSE BANDS.

trollger
June 2nd 2012



3 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This Artist is actually not too bad, their last album eternal was a thousand times better... well at least the first 5 tracks (gets boring after that). Any way this Album is definitely their worst so you cant judge the band with this release. I'm not a huge fan just say'n



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