Warforged
I: Voice


2.0
poor

Review

by ramon. CONTRIBUTOR (51 Reviews)
May 15th, 2019 | 265 replies


Release Date: 05/10/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ambition.

In many ways, this is a highly impressive record. It is over an hour long. It comes bundled with a music video of identical length. The feature list feels like the ungodly pairing of snov.io and bandcamp.com/tag/technical-death-metal: be you more privy to Super Tech Death. Ultimate or the Marston Cinematic Universe, there’s no doubt you won’t find at least a couple of musicians contributing to this project that you adore. Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if Kevin Hufnagel, Poh Hock, and Will Smith (no, the other one) shared a studio space with 127^n other big brane brutal broheims for x amount of time with y amount of cheap beer and pumped out a record? The end product if you play every Alkaloid song at once? Are bass solos ever okay? All this and more is answered in I: Voice, simultaneously the most ambitious and excessive piece of work metal has borne unto thee this year. Hot damn.

It’d be worth starting things off on the right foot. Consulting with the band’s general online presence, this record is “FFO: Portal, Ulcerate, Opeth, Lantlôs”, four bands who are quite good, and who (subsequently?) share almost nothing with Warforged stylistically. “Au contraire!”, you might concur; “maybe Warforged sound like a mix of all four bands!”, to which I would certainly concede there are certainly parts of this album that sound like four different bands are trying to play their own pieces at the same time. I: Voice is very much borrowing from the modern progressive death metal cabal on the whole when trying to come up with an identity, and for what it is worth, it largely succeeds. However, this is achieved less through a consistent sonic identity and more them through throwing so much *** at the wall that the general smell eventually becomes recognisable once your nostrils have acclimated.

None of this is really helped by the light-switch-approach the band has taken to structuring. Things don’t really progress as much as they do frame-one-AOE-maelstrom into existence only to leave just as quickly as they entered. It is pretty clear the band wanted this to be a concept album but I could count on the hands of every participant in this project and their dads the number of times an idea is ejected into the stratosphere without rhyme or reason. Pair this with a general apprehension regarding finding a strong tonal centre, and it kinda just gives the band a free pass to play whatever notes they want without having to consider how well one melodic or rhythmic passage might transition into the next. I can’t deny the technical ability of, well, anyone involved in this project, but a meaningful portion of the record feels like a quantised session of stream of consciousness.

While the general free form nature of the record isn’t a negative in and of itself, it feels like a perpetual game of Jack-in-the-box where the fuse time is controlled by an invisible dice roll and you have phonophobia. That said, this actually serves in the album’s favour in one very specific and strange way. As mentioned previously, Warforged create an identity by throwing the whole fridge into the blender, and thusly, not a single feature feels out of place. It is impossible to feel out of place when no one knows where you end and Navene Koperweis begins, and to that end, I: Voice might prove a more enjoyable experience if one goes into the album expecting a tech death tech demo; a proof of concept rather than a record written by a band with the purpose of exploring said band’s sound. There were a small handful of moments on the record where it was clear as day who likely had the most inspiration (“The Color of My Memory” opening with some fairly intense Artificial Brain-isms, for example), but by and large, vocalists aside, you’d have an easier time solving the Ship of Theseus than sussing the correct placement of each of the guests without a guiding hand. Keeping that all in mind, there’s a reason we call tech demos “demos”.

It is actually proving difficult to concentrate writing this review because every three seconds a song will hard cut from blistering solos and 8.2 magnitude kick drum patterns to atmospheric nothingness. I can’t understate that enough. Haphazard and needless hard cuts litter the album’s runtime. Seldom have I ever been as cognizant of this approach to putting together a record as I am here because the frequency of use turns an otherwise poignant and dynamic musical convention into a fresh hot pet peeve. If this album can make you appreciate one thing in life, it is the importance of a well-placed hard cut transition. There is already almost nothing in way of interesting transitions between passages in the album as is. Paired with the aforementioned lacking tonal centre, and even the most spectacular bursts of ferocity are quickly forgotten as you try and compute what the album is even trying to do at any given moment. A reasonably high count of these bursts are underpinned by “riffs” that constitute little less than rapidly palm muting awkward melodic intervals. I’m not entirely certain about this theory, but I figure it is probably three times easier for a technically proficient guitarist to write a fitting solo or riff progression when there is no melodically coherent chord progression to speak of than one where they actually have to be actively aware of why they are playing what they are playing.

Make no mistake. There are dozens of moments on I: Voice that are quite stunning to behold. If I could remember them, I’d certainly list them. It is just difficult to find anything the band seemed to set out to achieve all that compelling. If they set out to create a concept record, the fact I could interchange literally any minute of this record with any other doesn’t help their case. If they set out to create a proof of concept for technical death metal, they’ve massively undersold a lot of its appeal and potential. If they set out to try and create an identity for themselves, it’d only be replicable in future releases if they once again threw absolutely everything at the wall, and maybe that could be considered a win depending on how close one stands to the wall. But the marvel and spectacle of such high ambition is largely lost on me when nothing seems to serve any purpose. Listening to this record feels like trying to find the arsonist during the forest fire, and while the sheer magnitude is certainly sure to set a light under the prog death community at large, I have very little confidence the flame will roar on.



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user ratings (109)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
May 15th 2019


3492 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hola

https://warforged.bandcamp.com/

TheNotrap
May 15th 2019


12265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The wonderful world of subjectivity and chaos



This review, unfortunately, is also a product of its time

Digging: Schammasch - Hearts of No Light

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
May 15th 2019


3492 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hell yeah brother 2019 m/

Firedust
May 15th 2019


1176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, album got rekt



Also, stellar review, great read

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
May 15th 2019


10606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I disagree Ramon, you're welcome

DDDeftoneDDD
May 15th 2019


8441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Holy Macarroni!

Digging: Schammasch - Hearts of No Light

Hawks
May 15th 2019


73729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2??????

Digging: Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast - Re-Mistressed

CaptainDooRight
May 15th 2019


4191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dam



Digging: Cadacross - So Pale Is The Light

necropig
May 15th 2019


5804 Comments


I checked the video a few days back and the vox were starting to wear thin quick oddly enough. Not sure how I'll fair with an hour of it

Digging: Unaussprechlichen Kulten - Teufelsbcher

CaptainDooRight
May 15th 2019


4191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just jam the audio only

WretchedCacophony
May 15th 2019


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Review seems kind of useless if you're so far removed from the popular opinion but I hope you enjoyed writing it.

Digging: Lord Belial - Enter The Moonlight Gate

iamtheweapon
May 15th 2019


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Great review on the album. I don't agree with the score but it is always great to hear a different opinion about an album I enjoyed this year.



>I have very little confidence the flame will roar on.



I disagree with this. They have been buzzing about in the past five years and they are amazing live. I have seen them 23 times already.

trilo
May 15th 2019


2831 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

“Marston Cinematic Universe”



lmfao good review man

Digging: The Great Old Ones - Cosmicism

dedex
May 15th 2019


520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great read dude

Digging: Andy Stott - It Should Be Us

brainmelter
May 15th 2019


6695 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ye good rev

Digging: Evigt Morker - 1

TundraL5Z
May 15th 2019


3304 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

sorry, I kinda agree with roman here, album is so.. so chaotic.. so all over the place.. so dense.. switches from extremely heavy to extremely light within the drop of a dime.. it was a struggle for me to get through it, not getting the hype (atm, i guess)

Hawks
May 15th 2019


73729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn.

CaptainDooRight
May 15th 2019


4191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[2]



DDDeftoneDDD
May 15th 2019


8441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"is so.. so chaotic.. so all over the place.. so dense.. switches from extremely heavy to extremely light within the drop of a dime.."

It is a stretcher in that matter agreed (but those aren't bad things necessarily)...maybe I'm crazy, as long with several other reviews and opinions, but this is like on consecutive listens here lolol and every time makes even more sense..ramon. is just pissed caused he couldn't focus in the rev while listening...and I can accept that...I wouldn't recommend it to do something else while listening...I can eat it any time of the day atm though X)

Hawks
May 15th 2019


73729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To be fair I can def see why this would be hard to get into.



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