Warbringer
Weapons of Tomorrow

When the new thrash bands started to re-emerge in the 2000’s one of the best bands, that put many of the bigger acts to shame were and still is California’s Warbringer.  I was lucky enough to catchy them on their debut album tour for War Without End when they toured with Exodus and Kreator.  I spent some time speaking with singer, John Kevill and he was an extremely down to earth dude and I bought the cd and a shirt from him.  They put on a great set and even played a new song which was featured on their second album, Waking into Nightmares.  Since that debut album I have closely followed the act and they had that low point about 5 years when several band members departed and it looked like the band was going to pack it in, but they welcomed in some new members and kept going.  The band has had some great tours and I cannot believe Weapons of Tomorrow is their 6th album.  Time flies when listening to metal.  This album kicks some serious ass, so let’s get into the nutz and bolts.

“Firepower Kills” opens this 10 song 50 minute thrashing madness with some epic and killer opening drum work and as the song picks up from the opening slow burn John let’s out a nice scream as he states the name of the song and off to the thrashing madness speed.  His vocals sounding as menacing as ever with his snarling vocals and he has a pretty distinct style, sounding at times like Mille from Kreator, which has always been perfectly fine with me.  Guitar riffs are as catchy as ever with some nice melodic picking and the chorus is super catchy. Excellent guitar solos as the song slows down a bit and then picks up speed as the song enters a vintage Megadeth sound.  More excellent riffing and catchy vocals and the song picks ups on the double bass at the end.  Punishing!!

Let’s get into the first of the year with my new little ditty of a section I started last year, called Anatomy of a Song.  It goes out to “Crushed Beneath the Tracks”.  Starting with a ferocious stomp guitar riff, right after some killer drums and toms, this song must be strategically placed in the middle of their live set, once live shows can resume.  It’s ferocious as the song rumbles forward with monster thrash heaviness.  I created a one man pit in my house and literally beat the crap outta myself.  Why did I do this, because I felt like it and they were my water droplets all over the place, no one else’s so no contamination-Bonus!!  As the song picks up speed a well placed blast beat starts as the chaos ensues and John is shouting the song name.  The song slows down and the stomp riff returns.  So damn heavy and catchy as a mutha.  Some of the rumbling heaviness, especially towards the end with the double bass, some killer drums, piercing guitar wailing even has a slight Bolt Thrower tinge to it. “Crushed Beneath the Tracks” is one of the very best songs Warbringer has ever written and contender for top song of the year, in my playbook.

“Heart of Darkness” at over 7 minutes is placed perfectly in the middle of the album and starts with some nice bass guitar and classical guitar moments before erupting into a blast beat.  This part, the transition I mean, is beautiful and seamless.  The song shows Warbringer’s more epic metal parts, which they have been experimenting with since their last album-Woe to the Vanquished in 2017 when they closed the album out with the 11+ minute scorcher “When the Guns Fell Silent”.

“Heart of Darkness” has more excellent bass guitar moments and some vintage Metallica guitar moments, circa 1984.  I hear a lot of Ride the Lightning influence on this track, with the guitar tone, like a bit of “Fade to Black”, on the heavier moments.  I really love hearing Warbringer expand on their already proven thrash metal sound and allow even more of their songwriting skills to shine on the longer songs.  The song fluctuates with the faster moments, blasts, as well and this is a great song which musically shows how far this band has grown over the years.

The rest of Weapons of Tomorrow is really fitting with the futuristic war-themed album cover.  Songs are all varied and this is the best production Warbringer has ever achieved.  Perfect mix too for this type of thrash metal and Weapons of Tomorrow continues with their albums named with a W.  Their 2013 album IV: Empires Collapse the only album without a W.  Maybe they will go back in time and change it to Wempires Collapse??  Catchy?, no, I am being a goofball.

Weapons of Tomorrow shows why Warbringer are at the top of the thrash heap.  They lay waste to so many bands out there and they also are showing they are unafraid to experiment with more epic moments and their song writing skills are ever evolving.  One of the best thrash metal bands around.  This crushes.  Unsure what thrash metal album will top this for 2020.  Buy or Die!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
July 7th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: J. Mays

    I agree with this assessment. The new Testament is good. The new Havok is good, but that’s it. They’re “good.” This new Warbringer is great.


  2. Commented by: Steve K

    Thrash is having itself a decent year. This, Havok, and obviously the new Testament have all been really good. The new school of speed metal is really ramping up, too.


  3. Commented by: Luke

    Passionate review as always Frank. I’m pretty jaded towards a lot of modern thrash these days and had limited history with WWrbringer previously, but this is one of the finer thrash albums I’ve heard over the past few years. Great stuff.


  4. Commented by: F.Rini

    thanks for the support fellas. Yeah-these guys are probably one of my favorite of the new thrash bands over the years. If you have never checked ultra-violence out of Italy-check them out too. They’re tied with Warbringer, imo, as best of the new thrash bands.


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