“Infernal City Black Metal” is what Wastelander refers to themselves as. The Infernal City, I discovered through the albums press sheet, is Lansing Michigan. Now, I’m not much of a black metal fan, and really don’t know a whole lot about it, but I hear a strong early thrash influence, as well as a strong punk influence (which I’m also not much of a fan of). Surprisingly though, I found it to be a pretty enjoyable album.

Wardrive is at its strongest when spewing simple, speedy, fist-pumping and head-banging thrashy/punky riffs and throbbing bass lines in it’s shorter compositions (all under four minutes), such as the title track, “Days of Hell”, “Desert Law”, “Mindsweeper”, “Baptized in Ashes”, and “Final Combat” – all of which waste no time and go straight for the throat. Other enjoyable elements I found were the vocals of Matt War, which are not quite of typical black metal fare, but were much more understandable, and the very rough, raw, dirty and dirgy sound it carries – no slicked up production job here.

On the downside, “Knee Deep in the Dead” and “Frost Storm” are a little on the slower and less engaging side, which makes the album lose a little momentum, and seem to drag on a little too long and outstay their welcome (at nearly five minutes and six and half minutes, respectively). Also, the minute long section of distortion/noise at the end of “Wastelander” is just flat out annoying.

While I don’t think it will set the metal world on fire, Wardrive is devoid of any kind of trendy, modern bullshit and is a very enjoyable album worthy of a few spins.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 8th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Cynicgods

    No black, no punk and you haven’t seen Blade Runner. You’re missing out, man! :P

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    I like a little black, but it’s very, very limited. Black n roll I guess you could say is what I dig most of the time.

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