Warbringer
Weapons Of Tomorrow


3.5
great

Review

by Fernando Alves CONTRIBUTOR (61 Reviews)
April 26th, 2020 | 40 replies


Release Date: 04/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Targeting the past

Out of Newbury Park, California, Warbringer was part of the thrash revival roster that emerged in the middle of the '00s with bands such as Havok, Evile, Bonded by Blood or Angelus Apatrida. The retro trend's purpose, which many like to call neo-thrash, was never to invent the wheel, but rather to pay tribute to the thrash gods of the past, thus keeping the flame alive. Personally, I've always observed this resurgence with some detachment, since I believe this nostalgic approach doesn't deliver anything new nor has any artistic relevance. However, it's undeniable that the aforementioned bands had the merit of keeping the genre afloat, for better or for worse. Being also true, that some releases born out of this roster deserve proper attention such as Havok's Time Is Up. Warbringer, alongside Havok, was one of the bands that stood out the most over the years by releasing a handful of albums that enjoyed positive acceptance within the thrash community. The trajectory of these Californian lads is at all similar to the vast majority of their thrash comrades, evolving from a more rebellious early signature into a progressively more polished, cerebral sound. This leap is perfectly noticeable when comparing Warbringer's debut to Woe to the Vanquished, which although not too far apart, are clearly products of different times. While the former has a defiant and uncontrollable nature, sometimes reminiscent of Exhorder, the latter has a more refined and mature approach, with greater production value. Stylistically, the band swings between its major 80's thrash influences, which include Exodus, Death Angel or Testament, among other heavyweights of the genre.

Weapons of Tomorrow has as its umbrella theme "fear of the future" mirrored both in contemporary and historical topics, such as 'Glorious End' and 'The Black Hand Reaches Out' which are about World War I. Musically, as expected, the band remains faithful to their style and influences. If we want to track the album within the thrash realm, I'd say it's somewhere between Exodus and Death Angel, with Metallica and Testament layers. Some linkages are immediately apparent such as the opener's kick-off that resembles Testament's 'Preacher' or 'Defiance of Fate's' middle riff which reminds of Metallica's 'The Call of Ktulu', just to name a few. These comparisons should be taken lightly, given the particularities of this revivalist genre which has always shown tremendous difficulty in dealing with originality. Nevertheless, Weapons of Tomorrow reveals a very interesting diversity (within the style limits), exploring various tempos and dynamics. I immediately experienced these contrasts as I went through the album's first half, which brings together the energetic, fast thrash signatures of 'Firepower Kills' and 'Unraveling' with more restrained, mid-paced deliveries of 'Crushed Beneath the Tracks', 'Defiance of Fate' and 'The Black Hand Reaches Out', with the latter also featuring memorable Alex Skolnick-esque solos. Lead guitars shine in Weapons of Tomorrow, being undeniably one of its most inspired highlights. Despite the band's style restrictions, we still managed to find some interesting out of the box moments, like the black metal nuances in 'Defiance of Fate' and 'Heart of Darkness' or the Accept-esque riff at the end of 'Notre Dame (King of Fools)'. The vocal dynamics should also be emphasized, namely those with narrative nature as in 'Heart of Darkness' and 'Glorious End', with the latter being an emotional father-son dialogue about war, which confers the album a dramatic, epic ending.

Weapons of Tomorrow could be seen as a logical step, a natural continuity of Warbringer's more recent course. However, despite all its virtues, I would like to see the band exploring more ambitious grounds in the near future, as I strongly believe Warbringer has the potential and sophisticated weaponry to do much more than just targeting the past.




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user ratings (54)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
The strongest Warbringer album since Worlds Torn Asunder...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good album, even though it doesn't bring anything new to the genre, as expected.



Full stream:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaGGsDf5prU&t=626s



Whenever I can I will try to write at least one review per week, not only of albums I particularly enjoy but also new metal releases that may interest the userbase and that usually have no reviews (e.g. thrash, tech death, classic heavy metal, power metal, grind,...)

Digging: Convocation - Ashes Coalesce

rockarollacola
April 26th 2020


286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You're right about them not bringing anything new to the table, but that really doesn't bother me very much. I'm totally fine with it because I love the formula they have.

parksungjoon
April 26th 2020


20834 Comments


tfw can no longer pos notrap reviews

Thalassic
April 26th 2020


4973 Comments


This band's good
I liked the previous one better tho

Thalassic
April 26th 2020


4973 Comments


Congrats on the contrib

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks old chap.

Hahah yeah, it's kinda weird not having that voting button down there anymore. I'm still trying to get used to this. Thanks for stopping by park, I know this isn't your cup of tea.

Cheers rockarolla,

Music doesn't necessarily have to be relevant or original to be fun. Album is a good jam.

parksungjoon
April 26th 2020


20834 Comments


shards of humanity was pretty cool though :]

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Most definitely. I've been listening to the album regularly.

parksungjoon
April 26th 2020


20834 Comments


the previous one is also good but takes a bit to get there

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still have to get into that one.

vermillionZ
April 26th 2020


327 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I like this one quite a bit more than Woe to the Vanquished. Heart of Darkness, Outer Reaches, Notre Dame and especially Glorious end are some of the best songs they ever made in my opinion. My favorite of the year so far.

Digging: Haken - Virus

el_newg
April 26th 2020


725 Comments


I liked their first album, but never really got into the band after that. might have to check this one out
good review notrap, and congrats on contrib!

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man ;)



Cheers VermillionZ

I prefer this one too, but I have to confess that Woe to the Vanquished has grown on me in the last couple of days.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 26th 2020


11958 Comments


Didn't know neo-thrash was a term, goes to show you haha.

Sweet review as always, dude. Have a mental pos.

Digging: Witchsteel - Mountain of the Red Flame

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks mate

bloc
April 26th 2020


61673 Comments


Dear lord I hope I love this album

Digging: Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure?

Pikazilla
April 26th 2020


11284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Does this have riffs

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, it does. They're not Hanneman-level riffs, but some are quite tasty.

NoHellsNoHeavens
April 27th 2020


167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Congrats TheNoTrap. We have similar tastes lol so I follow your reviews.

Digging: Descend - The Deviant

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2020


14339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm flattered NHNH, thanks



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