"Waking Into Nightmares" (Century Media; 2009)
Reviewed by Metal Mark
Sometimes familiarity can actually be a good thing if it’s done right. Like a comfortable chair, for instance. The retro thrash scene of recent years is based on familiar patterns and all too often these bands don’t do anything wrong per se, but still manage to sound rather routine. It’s like they think just because they played their vinyl copies of “Hell Awaits” and “Terrible Certainty” to death that they can go out and plop down something that will have the kids in high top Nikes falling over their tired, old material.
Fortunately, there have been a few bands from this trend that are worth checking out. Warbringer are not going to save the thrash scene, but they do attempt to liven it up with pure volume and intensity. It’s like they took prime Testament, Exodus, Metallica and Slayer and then shoved them into a blender, poured it out and cranked it up. There may be nothing original here, but you don’t have time to think about that during the record because Warbringer are too busy kicking you in the head with some of the most instantly likable thrash this side of 1987.
Seriously, they are relentless enough that they just rip it up, but they keep the sound clear and coherent enough that you can absorb all that is being cranked out. On this release they also are developing the skills where they slow the pace down a little without missing a beat and move back and forth between the styles without losing any of their aggression. Yes, they are becoming better songwriters and making it look easy.
I have had far too many occasions where I play a disc by a new thrash band and I stop it halfway through to go listen to a classic by the likes of Overkill or Destruction just because I would rather hear that than a cheap copy. That’s not the case with Warbringer because they just keep pushing forward and their confidence, plus the tightly woven sound, has me thinking they could be a band who I will be definitely be listening to for some time.
For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/warbringer.
A classic. This record will kick your ass.
Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.
So-so. You've heard better.
Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.
Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.
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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights
Revised: 29 Apr 2020 21:23:11 -0400.