The Last Rekkid Before the Apocalypse

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THE WHOLE WORLD IS GOING TO CR*P AND I HAVE ANXIETY. WTF IS GOING ON FAM, TBH? How can we cope with this insanity? I’m asking seriously, because this pandemic is destroying my mind. I can’t function. I’m depressed. I’m honestly concerned for the survival of the human race (even though we kinda suck). Well every now and then there’s a silver lining to an extinction event, and this one just happened to be one last rekkid purchase right at about the time the “stay at home” recommendation was being recommended (or enforced, depending on the city). Well it just so happens that I spotted a v gud used bad boi on Instagram and called up Planet Score Records, who agreed to sell it to me “curbside”. Transaction complete! Now… I’m right back to my isolated home to stew in my own thoughts… but this time I have some of the best heavy metal ever released, available to listen to as it all comes crashing down.

Warbringer kicks so much ass. Look who found “IV: Empires Collapse” on vinyl last week (and braved the Mad Max-like wasteland in order to retrieve it):

Now I don’t mind throwing out an unpopular opinion every now and then—some might even call a few of my takes “hot” (but they’d be incorrect… they’re more lukecold than anything). So here is where I lose every true metalhead in committing one singular mistake: I claim that Warbringer is the best thrash band EVER. It’s not hyperbole, this is a theory I’ve held close to my heart for like… 4 albums now. Let me explain this accomplishment very quickly:

  • In 2009 they managed to top the quality of their debut album, with the sophomore release “Waking Into Nightmares”. It sharpened up a few of the edges, but primarily improved upon the quality of the production of the debut—sounding 2x better. And the Warbringer dudes added a little bit of progressive flair! Great move by a sophomore thrash band, I think we could all agree.
  • In 2011 they managed to match the quality of the previous release, with “Worlds Torn Asunder”—which sounds just as good and contains just as many amazing songs. There’s a few more catchy choruses present, which is 100% acceptable when each of them, when executed live, raises every fist in the venue.
  • In 2013 they managed to match the quality of the previous release, with “IV: Empires Collapse”. (Are you seeing a pattern yet?) Warbringer added a lot more punk in this one, and you know who hates punk a whole lot? Me. BUT. This is some amazing “crossover” material, if you will (do I sound dumb saying that? I plead ignorant!) Let’s go ahead and claim it’s 75% thrash and 25% punk. They achieved their goal 100%, winning this anti-punk metalhead over.
  • In 2017 they managed to match the quality of the previous release, with “Woe to the Vanquished”. The amount of punk fusion was reduced on this one, but I love it just as much as the album that had included all the punk. It’s like, they can’t lose. No matter what they do, it’s incredible. This band of heavy metal aficionados is composed of 5 people who have honed their craft to a “T”, stealing shamelessly various attributes from other bands who were also fan-favorite thrash outfits (or currently ARE a successful thrash outfit). The songwriting skills are through the gosh-danged roof. Looking for evidence? The first track, “Silhouettes” comes out and sets the bar high with its insane tempo changes and flashy guitar solo. Every song that Warbringer writes is 100% Warbringer. It’s an odd statement to make, but their best asset is their consistency (because they become consistent at the peak of their career). And then, of course, while I’m talking to you the next song starts up and is just as great as the last one. I mean, this is their career in a nutshell.

(Obtained in Indianapolis, which was a show that I reviewed.)

It seems I had forgotten about a few of the tracks off my recent purchase (their fourth) IV: Empires Collapse. It’s fun to re-discover various things about the album that I had forgotten, like some of the suuuuuuuuuuper punky choruses (for example “One Dimension”) that…. don’t bother me as much, now that I’m more of an older fella. But the extremely Warbringer-y thing that the band still does is add a crazy progressive flair to each and every song, no matter how catchy the chorus (for example, “One Dimension”). What I’m saying is that I simply cannot blame this song for being so catchy, because at around the 2/3rd mark, it gets super flashy and awesome.  The drum fills, the guitar solos, the instrumental jamming, the tempo changes… I don’t think anybody who appreciates music could turn this kind of thing down. And then, would you believe, they do it again RIGHT AWAY with the following song “Hunter Seeker”—which is arguably their best work. Here listen (and then fite me plz):

OH FUDGE!!! I forgot that actually the band’s best of all time is “Iron City”, embedded below (if we have to fight again, I am game).

I own the extreme pleasure of having seen Warbringer several times in the live setting, from way back when to just last year.  And their live performances are… give me a second to think of how to review them… a 10.0 / 10.0. They couldn’t be better. It’s pure bliss seeing Warbringer live. The crowds are electric and they deliver every performance as if it was their last (I caught them at a competing venue with Death Angel one evening. There were 12 Warbringer fans in attendance (me being one of them). But that only energized them more.

Warbringer has a new album coming soon, and I tell you this because their record label is paying me $1,000 to do so. Haha, just j/k-ing, I’m telling you this because it is going to decimate all competitors. Warbringer has never disappointed me, not twice, not once. They’ve been releasing the occasional single or two in anticipation (and I do love the artwork). Here’s one of them, titled “Firepower Kills”:

I mean… it’s going to be perfect. I hecking love Warbringer. Who wants to get matching tattoos?

Pre-order that stinker on Bandcamp. I’m so bizarrely happy that the album will be sold on that platform! But yeah they’re also on Napalm Records right now, with all kinds of cool pre-order packages and a custom Spotify playlist. And will ya please listen to more Warbringer, ya human? Please?

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