Warlord
The Holy Empire


3.0
good

Review

by piroga84 USER (9 Reviews)
April 13th, 2013 | 25 replies | 2,415 views


Release Date: 04/04/2013 | Tracklist


3 of 5 thought this review was well written

There goes an attempt to express all the first thoughts after listening to the new Warlord album. Yes, this is a one-listen review, so demanding review readers and die-hards be warned!

A bit about Warlord, to begin with. The U.S. heavy metal band released one LP in the eighties, creating a small but loyal following of epic metal fans. That was mainly because of the catchy metal tunes and the obscure appearance and nicknames (Destroyer, Damien King, etc). After some initial success, the guys (including Mark Zonder – Fates Warning’s drummer) called it a day, giving a single live performance. Over the years though, their dedicated fan base demanded their return. In 2002 with the help of Hammerfal’s singer, Warlord recorded a new album that was met with mixed reviews.

"Holy Empire" is a much, much better try than their last effort. Old school heavy metal with epic lyrics and 80’s production. Try to imagine a sound less digital than modern production, more like a live studio performance. Warlord have a cozy, warm sound, much like the first albums of Iron Maiden or 80’s Judas Priest. The album will take you back to the old days, I suppose, dedicated to the fans of Manowar, Rainbow, Wishbone Ash and above all, to Warlord’s fans. I can't remember a recent album so retro sounding, like not a day has passed since their first album in 1984.

The music is riff driven hard rock/heavy metal. Bill Tsamis, the founder and lead guitarist of the band, steals the show with all of his melodies and solos. He has done an excellent job, so many cathcy riffs and melodies, it’s impossible to remember them all after just one listen! This is a grower, all right. Kind of weird, but after listening to Warlord I can’t help but wonder if Tony Iommi will give us so many riffs later this year…

All the songs are mid-paced, although the drums take it up a notch here and there. A special mention goes to the drums that keep it simple but dynamic. You can’t miss Mark Zonder playing, feeling the gaps between the riffs and holding the rhythm along with discreet bass lines. Zonder is the only thing that breaks the “let’s play like we used to, 30 years ago” recipe: I can’t imagine any 20 year old heavy metal kid playing drums like this.

The singer is mediocre. His voice is neither high pitched nor strong, it’s rather mellow and heartfelt. When he tries to shout he doesn't sound convincing, it’s his lighter tones that suit him the most. Then again, none of the previous Warlord’s singer had any edge in their voices. I can’t imagine anybody turned off by the singer, yet it’s also difficult to visualize an ecstatic metalhead raving along the lyrics. He sounds like a middle aged old man from the local church choir, telling tales in a tavern.

At first listen, I liked “70,000 sorrows”, “Glory” and “Night of the fury” a lot. I don’t know how much “Holy Empire” is going to grow on me, but right now it seems that the rating can only go higher after a couple of spins.

For: metal purists
Against: modern times

UPDATE: As promised, these are some new thoughts about the record after several spins. The rating drops to 3 (for the three aforementioned songs which save the day) from the original 3.5, and a bit lower (2,5) for the rest. The reason? I guess retro pleasures tend to fade away quickly when objectivity takes control.
Prediction: After this rapid downgrade, if i am still listening to it one week from today, i'll be surprised. A grade of 3 seems fair and square.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
warlordfun (4)
Warlord, The Holy Empire and the redefinition of Epic Metal....

lostforwords (4)
Epic metal so irrelevant it just might become timeless....


Comments:Add a Comment 
piroga84
April 13th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Always wanted to do a one listen review!
Will change it after a while, i guess

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013



5614 Comments


Good "only-one-listen" review, pos, however you should have waited for a fair amount of time in order to have a "global" point of view about the record, especially in terms of the final rating.

Ήμουν σχεδόν σίγουρος πως κάποιος από τους Έλληνες του sputnik θα έγραφε κριτική για το συγκεκριμένο δίσκο χαχα ;)


Some suggestions:

There goes a try

There goes an attempt



"Holy Empire" is a much, much better try. Old school heavy metal with epic lyrics and 80’s production

At a first listen, Holy Empire seems to be much better than its immediate predecessor in what Warlord excelled at, namely old school heavy metal with epic lyrics and '80s sound production.



if Tony Iommi would give us

will give us



Pace is medium almost all of the time

The songs are mid-paced most of the time

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

piroga84
April 13th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks a lot, i made some changes!
You didn't say if you liked the album..!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013



5614 Comments


I haven't listened to it yet.

warlordfun
April 13th 2013



356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i've listened to it and i consider the holy empire to be a modern masterpiece. Great review man. Have a pos

Digging: Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards

piroga84
April 13th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

that's cool! enjoy

warlordfun
April 13th 2013



356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks a lot man. i believe that this album will grow on you. i'm glad that you liked Glory. It's a unique song. Also, in my humble opinion the great thing about this record are the lyrics..

piroga84
April 13th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

from what i heard it's about history, battles and stuff so it must be good!
It suits the atmosphere
when it comes to old school metal i do prefer Priest lyrics though, they are funnier
Grindeeeeeer Looking for meat Griiiinder Wants you to eat lol

warlordfun
April 13th 2013



356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah yes Judas Priest man i agree!!

We are screaming for vengeance
The world is a manacled place!
Screaming, screaming for vengeance
The world is defiled in disgrace!
m/ My favourite priest lyrics

KILL
April 13th 2013



67116 Comments


fuck this shit review cannons

piroga84
April 13th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

KILL
i didn't quite get that, could you elaborate on that please?
lol

KILL
April 13th 2013



67116 Comments


Good day. Instead of reviewing this record, please review their second record, as it is a much finer presentation. Monk De Wally De Honk.

piroga84
April 13th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good lord, now i got you kill!
almost

Yes sonic

......

RunOfTheMill
April 13th 2013



1239 Comments


Album art is pretty sweet.

RunOfTheMill
April 13th 2013



1239 Comments


Decent review, as well.

piroga84
April 14th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty epic landscape ha?

piroga84
April 14th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is the latest warlord interview, just in Greek though!
http://www.typosthes.gr/component/content/article/9-2010-12-03-15-51-14/45541-bill-tsamis-l-r

manosg
April 14th 2013



4695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll definitely listen to this. Cool review, pos.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

zaruyache
April 14th 2013



4841 Comments


This has three reviews already woah.

Digging: Paramnesia - Paramnesia

piroga84
April 15th 2013



113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ha, you don't know that Greek metallers love them??
this shows! This is a result of brainwashing greek metal magazines
Oh and the Scorpions, so that you know in advance




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