Warbringer
Woe to the Vanquished


4.5
superb

Review

by ThatDjentyFool USER (6 Reviews)
July 14th, 2017 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The crowning jewel of Warbringer’s back catalogue.

It wasn’t too long ago that Warbringer were facing an untimely end- despite releasing some stellar modern thrash albums, fans didn’t warm to previous album IV: Empires Collapse and a revolving cast of band members had crippled Warbringer to the brink. Thankfully having established a solid lineup by 2016, Warbringer have taken the bit between their teeth and have never sounded more invigorated. Perhaps realising the often fleeting and tumultuous nature of being a metal band has given Warbringer a brand new perspective, as Woe To The Vanquished is brimming with thrash excellence and ambitious grandeur as though the band treated the album like their last.

Storming out the gates with the twisting lead riffs of “Silhouettes” is a gnarly statement of intent as dark riffs and pounding rhythms cut with ferocious precision. Guitarists Adam Carroll and Chase Becker know how to craft a mean thrash riff (backed by some powerful bass work) that packs punch and crunch in equal measure and inject an element of adrenaline to vocalist John Kevill’s maniacal delivery. His shrieks and barks are delightfully dramatic, yet have enough grit to them that he never veers off in a ridiculously overblown way- which helps when he deals with more serious lyrical matter (particularly with the album’s finale, but more on that later). His infectious enthusiasm for military history is all over the lyrics that you can tell he’s lovingly crafted into catchy and highly memorable couplets. This really adds to the supercharged blasting and frantic riffing of tracks like the title track or “Shellfire”. However, these aren’t just straight forward thrash-by-number affairs as there’s haunting black metal flourishes and flailing guitar work that embellishes each track immensely.

When Warbringer aren’t penning anthems that would make Slayer blush, they show an understanding of dynamics and tempos that result in some slower but equally satisfying tunes. “Remain Violent” is a mid-paced stomper with grooves and duelling solos that is destined to grind necks and raise air guitars in glorious fervour, whilst the ominous sway of “Spectral Asylum” has a certain evil majesty that is just irresistible. Undoubtedly the pinnacle of Woe To The Vanquished is the eleven minute closer “When The Guns Fell Silent”. Split into five movements, this blackened thrash masterpiece is packed with Siegfried Sassoon spoken word sections, frosty riffs, brooding clean guitars and an emotive crescendo that showcases a maturity and ambition to the band’s songwriting, which serves as a fitting eulogy to the lost soldiers of World War One.

Each track across the album comes with its own character and identity that allows for a well-rounded and rewarding listen, from the scathing high register tremolo fury of “Divinity Of Flesh” to the breakneck mosh extravaganza of “Descending Blade” (which has a brilliantly tongue in cheek ending). Clocking in at 40 minutes and consisting of just 8 tracks, Warbringer have trimmed away any potential fat to make a thrash album that perfectly balances the lean, muscular riffs and rhythms that characterises this brand of metal with an ambition to produce more than just meat-and-potatoes metal. Blending black metal’s sonic evil and death metal’s frenetic savagery has bolstered Warbringer’s already darker take on thrash metal into more sinister territories, and they sound rejuvenated for it. If you’ve felt that Slayer’s last few albums were somewhat lacklustre, or that too many bands are straightforward in their approach, then there is plenty on Woe To The Vanquished to sink your teeth into.



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user ratings (89)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ThatDjentyFool
July 14th 2017


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Originally put this review on my website: thatdjentyfool.wordpress.com



Any feedback is more than welcome

bloc
July 14th 2017


56374 Comments


I was hyped to hell for this one, but alas, I heard it once and then threw it on my shuffle playlist for the gym. Can't really discern it from other songs by the band when it comes up though

Digging: UNKLE - Psyence Fiction

BigPleb
July 14th 2017


58918 Comments


Band always delivers the goods.

LaughingSkull
July 14th 2017


599 Comments


how is this "back catalogue" when it just got released? Or does the term denote something completely different than what I've always thought until now?

AdolfChrist
July 14th 2017


21537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I suppose ill check this. War Without End is one of my favorite revival albums and Waking Into Nightmares was pretty good. Their next two didnt do too much for me.

Digging: Vulture (DE) - Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves

Ebola
July 14th 2017


3607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. I jammed this once when it came out and never came back to it for some reason. Changing that right now.

Brewtality91
July 14th 2017


666 Comments


"Can't really discern it from other songs by the band when it comes up though"

so it's thrash metal?

bloc
July 14th 2017


56374 Comments


Haha touche

Ebola
July 14th 2017


3607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is considerably better than I remembered. Divinity of Flesh has some killer noodly guitar stuff

parksungjoon
July 14th 2017


9571 Comments


"so it's thrash metal?"

if u truly believe that, listen to voivod or coroner and u will see the difference

parksungjoon
July 14th 2017


9571 Comments


band is ok, better than havok at least

AdolfChrist
July 14th 2017


21537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

not feeling this at all.

Mister Twister
October 16th 2017


2564 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

played this in full, front to back, when I saw them live a few weeks ago



was quite good



only problem was that they thus only played one other song at all, Combat Shock, so no Shadow from the Tomb, no Enemies of the State, no Total War, no Scars Remain, no Living Weapon, etc.

AdolfChrist
October 16th 2017


21537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

TOTAL WAAARRR *shred*

Madbutcher3
October 16th 2017


2331 Comments


not a big fan of this one. probably their weakest album

AdolfChrist
October 16th 2017


21537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i thought this and Empires Collapse were pretty equally boring.

Madbutcher3
October 16th 2017


2331 Comments


i thought that album was messy but had some fun highlights like Scars Remain, Hunter-Killer, Off With Their Heads! ect. this one just seems wholly meh. listened to it about half a year ago now though so idk

bloc
October 16th 2017


56374 Comments


Was pumped for this but then totally forgot about it after hearing it once

Essence
November 20th 2017


6279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

waaaaaaaaaaaay better than their last two

bloc
November 20th 2017


56374 Comments


Dude Worlds Torn Asunder kills this



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