Review Summary: An expertly crafted, rhythmically faithful protest of tyranny - bringing to bear the true hallmarks of their forebears
Heavily influenced by late 80s D-Beat, Wartorn brandish their roots with pride - yet manage to innovate in a recently reinvigorated crust revival movement. Their Southern Lord debut not only hits hard on all the right crust buttons, but injects a much needed crossover appeal that's worked well to separate them from their contemporaries. In this scenario, Iconic Nightmare
proceeds furiously through its genre-typical 25 minute run time, while still providing an oasis of respite within the confines of tracks like "Six Feet Under" where slower death metal grooves prep the listener for a seriously thrash-induced D-Beat breakdown (if that is considered "respite"). The record is much better for this stark contrast of plodding atmospherics to uptempo destruction, never losing sight of the ultimate impending chaos.
Technically, the shouted vocals are well executed, yet punctuated by somewhat lacking low-end growls at times (notably on the title track, but forgiven due to a well-paced air raid siren!). Their dual-guitar attack of course allows for additional melodic variation and some nice shredding, while also enhancing the density of the riffing. Albeit minor, the only gripe here lies in a near-stereotypical propensity for diminished-to-minor transitions that occurs nearly constantly, but for the sake of minimalism and theme this is easily reconcilable. Iconic Nightmare
is an expertly crafted, rhythmically faithful protest of tyranny - bringing to bear the true hallmarks of their forebears. Southern Lord's recent investment in crust will no doubt pay off with its burgeoning popularity; hopefully signees like Wartorn receive their due credit.