Review Summary: Blunt Force Trauma
Mixing musical genres can really go either of two ways, one being like peanut butter and jelly and the other being like ice cream and Tabasco sauce. In essence, some things work like a charm while others just plain crap the bed. On Warpath, however, Rort not only manage make it through the night without ruining the sheets, but also show that mixing death metal and core rooted genres, hardcore punk specifically, could in fact make a very satisfying end product.
Imagine if you will, a sonic beat down of sorts. What exactly would that be like? Will it be any good with such a straightforward approach? Will it be just an exercise in monotony? For the most part, Warpath is exactly the record you would want to hear if one were to search for a bone-shattering audio experience. This short, yet crushing LP is especially commendable for how it knows where exactly its boundaries are and how it never falls in to the realm of excess. Tracks are brief and to the point. While there are breakdowns on quite a few tracks such as “Gut Feeling” and “Blinded”, they act only as supplements to the songs, rather than being an incredibly frail backbone that we see in many other releases with similar roots.
Another area worthy of note is how exactly the record never strays too far to one spectrum of its two parenting styles. The elements of the album have this equilibrium that makes the whole experience fresh altogether. While Rort absolutely pummels the listener with a vocal performance like some ripped from a early Entombed record, skull shaking and meaty production that hits like a speeding maglev train and a visceral, crunching guitar tone, the elements of hardcore are still very much present. There’s a certain fury to the record that you wouldn’t normally associate to a death metal album. The riffs and instrumentation is akin to that you would hear on a Trap Them record, being both energizing and thick sonically. The brevity of tracks such as “Disgust” and “Relapse” call back to the hardcore roots of Rort as they successfully unleash as much anger in as short a period of time as possible. While the record does lose some substance for being a hulking behemoth of anger, it really isn’t much of an issue when you have something as straight to the point as Warpath.
In conclusion, Warpath is a successful experiment of combining the energy of hardcore with the nihilism of death metal. Is it a profound experience? Definitely not, but it is incredibly enjoyable to listen to. So, if you want your face smashed to the pavement by a record, give Warpath a shot.