Torchbearer
Warnaments


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
January 21st, 2007 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


So you've just discovered a band who likes to write concept albums. Concept albums outlining historical events which include the black plague and epic World War I battles. Surely said band must be of the power metal variety, no? Well, actually...not this time. For the writers of Yersinia Pestis and Warnaments is Torchearer, a hybrid of Thrash, Death, and Black metal. Formed by the members of bands like Scar Symmetry, Unmoored, and Satariel in 2003, the multi genre encompassing band seems to have quite an interest in sharing age old history with the rest of the world, whether it be well known events such as the black plague, or more obscure events such as The Battle of Jutland which Torchbearer's 2006 release, Warnaments covers. And while I have not heard the band's debut album, if Warnaments is anything to judge by, the European extreme metal band should definitely be one to look out of in the future.

So I've mentioned that on Warnaments, Torchbearer puts together a hybrid of metal's heaviest, most extreme sub-genres: death metal, black metal, and thrash metal. But how much does this actually accomplish? Unsurprisingly, it works quite well. Torchbearer takes the positives from each of the extreme sub-genres (plus a little melody here and three) and moulds them together into one big, generally three to four minute song. Though the influences of each vary from song to song (don't get me wrong, they're still there), fans of any of these genres could enjoy the album's relentless thrash metal riffing, the sheer brutalnesss of death metal, or the cold fury of black metal. And when considering the subject that Warnaments deals with, this collaboration of extreme styles is very writing, representing the frantic exchange of bullets; the perpetual cannon fire, and the cold depths of which sunken warships descended to. Yeah, it's a pretty epic album. The guitars play an important role in the production, as can be heard in the likes of the dominating melody Battlespawn or crushing main riff of The Blunted Weapon, which plays a large role in the direction of the four and a half minute song. Another impressive aspect of the album is the atmospheric element found throughout the album. While the atmospheric touches that Torchbearer employs are not the most…atmospheric you'll ever hear, they do a superb job of adding a surprisingly effective level of emotion into the album. Often just a simple melody to be heard in the background of the sometimes chaotic, sometimes soft passages of music, they introduce a sad, regretful element reminding listeners of the horrors and depressive nature of the topic Warnaments addresses.

In terms of songs, the album's best is undoubtedly the sixth track, Battlespawn. It combines each of the three metal sub-genres better than any of the album's other songs, which says a lot considering the emphasis on said genres. The song starts off with an intense, crunch filled riff, a riff that serves as the basis for the songs rhythm. But what separates Battlespawn from the likes of say The Blunted Weapon or Swift Turns of War is the immensely epic and powerful melody which becomes the centrepiece of the song. The mournful melodious guitar lines are among the highlights, if not the highlight of the album, and showcase the creative minds behind Torchbearer at their best. Definitely one of my favourite songs of 2006. Another epic song would be Burial Waters, Deepsome Graves. Remember the atmospheric touches I mentioned earlier? Well they're heavily utilized here. The mood of this track is quite similar to that of Battlespawn, both intense and rugged, as well as sombre and melodic. The powerful mix of rapid fire guitar lines, blast beats and screams fit the chaotic occurrences within the concept exceedingly well; where as the calm piano intros and outros attempt to help ease the listener after the brutal effort from the band. It's quite an epic expenditure, one which while used throughout the album in songs like The Blunted Weapon, remains fresh and interesting.

As some of you might be aware of, I enjoyed 2006's metal offering quite a bit. Sure, Trivium released The Crusade that year, but I found a number of enjoyable albums which combat that misfortune. Despite it not being crafted by a power metal band, one of my favourite albums of 2006's was Torchbearer's Warnaments, and for very good reason. They take all of the essential extreme metal elements and combine it into an excellent 34 (yet feels like it's longer) minute death/thrash/black record. If you're into any of these genres, you should definitely give it a shot. If not, it probably won't change your mind. But check it out anyways. It's one of 2006's best.

Recommended Tracks:
Battlespawn
Burial Waters, Deepsome Graves
Dark Clouds Gathering
The Blunted Weapon



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Dethtrasher (4.5)
...

nick962 (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
metallicaman8
January 21st 2007


4677 Comments


Good reivew. Pos'd.

Mikesn
Emeritus
January 21st 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man.

Digging: Grimes - Visions

freudianslipknot
January 21st 2007


803 Comments


Your review got me interested in this album. Never heard of this band before, but I'll try and get hold of this.

Doppelganger
January 21st 2007


3124 Comments


Good review. I might check this album out, it sounds interesting.

Eakflanderyof
January 21st 2007


2143 Comments


Great Review. I like the song that's been uploaded on here. I'll try to check out the rest soon.

Mikesn
Emeritus
January 21st 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you liked it. I wanted to add more of their songs to Sputnik, but I couldn't find any more. Meh, wahtever.

Very interesting band, indeed.

Dethtrasher
January 22nd 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album is amazing, awesome review too.

nick962
March 27th 2007


377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review. I think I have a new favourite track off this album every time I listen to it.

kalkal50
July 6th 2007


2386 Comments


Some errors but a very well written review, and I'm finding this album ineffable.

south_of_heaven 11
October 6th 2007


5435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're the man Mike :thumb:

cold4life
December 23rd 2008


3 Comments


you suck ass man cold rules!!!!

Essence
February 13th 2009


3586 Comments


they might as well have named it warnication

Essence
February 13th 2009


3586 Comments


No, but I couldn't resist using that pun. Should I check it out?

Yazz_Flute
June 10th 2009


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dark Clouds Gathering is such a kickass song.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Yazz_Flute
August 12th 2009


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dark Clouds Gathering is still a kickass song.

Gore
October 10th 2009


333 Comments


^^^ Agreed

XfingTheSullen
April 23rd 2010


2711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is unreal.

Digging: Scar Symmetry - The Singularity (Phase 1 ? Neohumanity)

ShadowRemains
June 6th 2010


21021 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album, Dark Clouds Gathering and Battlespawn rule fuckin hard

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

south_of_heaven 11
February 27th 2011


5435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Burial Waters, Deepsome Graves. So good.

XfingTheSullen
April 27th 2011


2711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Blunted Weapon, bitches.



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