Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
I have to be brutally honest, I'm not the world's biggest thrash metal fan. There was a time from ages 8-14 where I was absolutely obsessed with thrash--I refused to listen to anything else, and I eventually burned myself out. That's not to say that I don't enjoy thrash and still look for new bands, but there are other genres I tend to listen to more.
And that leads us to Warbringer. They are the exception. Warbringer is easily my favorite "new" thrash band, and I'd go as far as to say that they are the best modern thrash band around. Their last album Woe to the Vanquished was a career highlight and saw the band even sharper than ever with a razorblade to the throat of their thrash metal roots, but all the while expanding upon their extreme metal and progressive influences. And here we are with Weapons of Tomorrow. Do the band continue on their trajectory of their roots-conscious but expansive and extreme thrash metal attack? Let's dive in.
Solitude in Madness is here, and, as one might expect by this stage in their illustrious career, Vader is as Vader does. These guys have been putting in the work for a good long while at a remarkably consistent rate, delivering decent-to-good slabs of death metal with the kind of fibrous regularity the Village’s brick shithouse comes, over time, to respect. Headbangable thrashy death done right is a constant from the Vader camp.
But...there’s a big but. By their twelfth full-length release, these Polish death pedallers have begun to toe that slippery slope towards legacy act mediocrity. Not complacency, mind--they still play with a ferocity and a bite, and they still hit the nail on the head more often than not. Unfortunately, however, my feelings regarding this album after a plethora of run-throughs can be boiled down to this: as fast-paced death metal, it’s quite enjoyable in the moment, but suffers significantly when it comes to staying power. Granted, most of us aren’t looking for the year’s greatest or most innovative riff-fest when we crack open a cold Vader, so take my criticism for what you will.
Taking a card from the band in question’s deck, we’re jumping over the typical long-winded intro you’ve undoubtedly come to expect ‘round these parts. Today it’s straight into the fray as we fire up another rotation of Restructure the Molded Mind, the third effort from Bay Area death thrashers Hemotoxin. Let's pulverize a blood vessel or two, shall we?
Hemotoxin's approach recalls a wide variety of bands from the primordial days of thrash-infused death metal--the era where experimentation into increasingly violent and technical territory represented, for good reason, the heights of innovation. Instrumentally, they hit (with a varying degree of accuracy) that vague point on the thrash metal timeline right after Death came a-knocking.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!