Review Summary: War of Ages manages to improve their sound and re-ignite their music
Every band goes through stages. Some, like Radiohead, make drastic changes to their sound and either win or lose fans; others like August Burns Red, tend to stick to the same formula, always making good records, but never achieving that “it” that makes it stick. War of Ages manages to do this, and do it well on their newest record Eternal
Coming into this record War of Ages had released four records (one of which is a re-release of their self titled debut) and had made a name for themselves with their technical guitar work, and uplifting vocals. As much as I have enjoyed their other albums I knew that they needed to make some progress on this one, and lo and behold, they did. Right from the opening song Collapse, you are greeted with clean vocals. Yes guys and gals, clean vocals from War of Ages, and great ones at that. The lead vocalist shows off his surprisingly good singing voice to go along with his screams. The vocal work on this album is much more varied then on previous albums, and really gives a nice sound. Guest spots from Tim Lambesis (As I Lay Dying)on Desire, Sonny Sandoval (P.O.D.) on Eternal and Josh Gilbert (As I Lay Dying) on Lack of Clarity give even more vocal variety and set the tone for a great record. Back is the technical and melodic guitar work, showcased on every track, such as Desire, the Fallen, and the album closer Instrumental. The duel guitar assault really is the highlight of War of Ages. From melodic solos to blistering riffs, the guitars rip through all ten tracks on Eternal
For as much as I love this record, War of Ages is still plagued by the one problem that has hampered them throughout their career: the drumming. For as much as the guitars shine and the vocals are sturdy, the drumming is just not up to par. It is proficient enough, but does not stand out much on its own, and really tends to just be forgotten in the listening experience. This is the one piece of the puzzle that prevents War of Ages from being a great metal band instead of just a good one.
If you can look past the inadequate drumming, this is still a stellar record. War of Ages does what few metal bands do and actually improves immensely by adding good clean vocals and still maintaining that sound that they are known for. Eternal
will have you rocking for all ten tracks and has great replay value, something most metal records tend to disregard. I highly recommend Eternal
for you if you have listened to War of Ages before, or if this gets you to check them out.