I need to give this review a bit of a preface. Warbringer has never really been a thrash act that I jumped at. I’ve always found their brand to be a bit generic, reeking of overproduction and lack of originality. Their best effort was low B-grade thrash, and that’s all I really expected we’d get from them going forward. With all of that in mind, Weapons Of Tomorrow, the latest effort, has colored me impressed, as it’s a substantial step-up. Although it easily could have fallen victim to the common thrasher issue of going on for too damn long on one record, this even managed to sidestep that!
Even more surprising is the fact that they tampered with black metal a bit, just like our friends in Testament, and I even loved that! In fact, “Defiance Of Fate” is my favorite song from the entire effort, a seven minute blackened epic that delivers tremendously. Shrieking vocals carefully placed over drawn-out rhythms to a steady beat make up the bulk, while soft licks are welcomed in as garnish. The build-ups to a melodic chorus are very nice as well, and the haunting synths compliment the thrashier riffs too. This lets off with swooping guitars and a burning outro to tie everything together.
There isn’t a whole lot of this anywhere else save for “Heart Of Darkness,” which is a serviceable one albeit a bit heavy-handed. The blast beats and extreme instrumentation are as in-your-face as this gets. The rest of Weapons Of Tomorrow is more straightforward thrash backed by advanced writing. I certainly wasn’t expecting there to be so many catchy songs. The powerful outro chant in “Firepower Kills” is incredibly hooky, and the chorus in “The Black Hand Reaches Out” outdoes the expectation set by this song’s solid riffing.
Other songs are simply just a lot of speedy fun, like “Power Unsurpassed.” You can pick up on some rock ‘n roll energy with the pummeling melodies and gnarly single-chord riffing that doesn’t run dry. Even the closing track “Glorious End” has a rather epic feel, working as a great way to exit. The production and overall attitude on Weapons Of Tomorrow is what helps it stick so well, as the songs remain assembled without stepping out of place. The bass pops out, things aren’t overly clean, and nothing about this feels generic in the slightest.
So yeah, considering my previous opinion on this band, you could say I’m thrilled to hear this. Maybe it’s a tad bit long, and a song or two could have been trimmed, but this is really everything I look for in a modern thrash record. There are loads of different influences, hooks for days, and a production job that doesn’t take away from the attitude. Warbringer have officially won me with this album.
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