Warbringer - Waking Into Nightmares review
|Album:||Waking Into Nightmares|
|Release date:||May 2009|
02. Living In A Whirlwind
03. Severed Reality
04. Scorched Earth
05. Abandoned By Time
06. Prey For Death
07. Nightmare Anatomy
08. Shadow From The Tomb
09. Senseless Life
10. Forgotten Dead
11. The Road Warrior [bonus]
What a refreshing album! I don't think I have heard any negative opinions about Waking Into Nightmares yet, and that to me is completely justified by this album's consistency meaning it's 40 minutes of uncompromising thrash that simply does not get boring. Warbringer let the listener take a breath pretty much once with the acoustic half of "Nightmare Anatomy."
As much of an originality enthusiast as I am, I was not getting that "heard-it-before" annoyance when listening to this piece of relentless brutality. Even though these Californian thrashers do not exactly break new ground with their sophomore album, they do successfully revive the legacy of what Vio-lence achieved with their debut or Anthrax with their highly acclaimed Among The Living.
It seems like the guys feel on top of the world, with testosterone pumping and the force of their youth bursting out. Warbringer are indeed in top shape here: riffs are juicy, abundant, and varied; most songs have their unique ideas, so you can tell them apart; great solos and hooks are there as well. "Jackal" has one of the best solos of the year 2009, "Severed Reality" is one of the most hard-hitting thrash compositions you will ever hear (man, that scream at the 35th second!); oh, and that mind-blowing breakdown on "Shadow From The Tomb" and the epic lead at the beginning of "Senseless Life..." You get the point.
Generally speaking, what makes a thrash album successful in my eyes is the presence of dynamics in songs, and interesting structures with engaging developments and highlighted transitions. Waking into Nightmares has just that. Take "Scorched Earth" for example: starting with some pounding riffage, the song goes on to a short break-down, which seamlessly develops (through a change in drumming) to the main lead-like riff of the song signaled by a demented shriek from John Kevill. The song then goes in the alternative mode between the main riff and chorus supported by variegated (although very thrashy) drumming, with solos in the middle. This. Works. To give the actual due credit to John Kevill, let me say that his performance on Waking Into Nightmares is, like that of his teammates, varied, and his skills are cleverly utilized. This is a very charismatic vocalist with powerful guttural mid-to-high range technique.
Finally, the production is modernly clear and aptly brutal craftily accentuating all the ferocity going on here (kudos to Gary Holt and Zack Ohren). Look no further, Waking Into Nightmares is a prime example of a well-crafted thrash album written by the new generation.
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