Warbringer - Woe To The Vanquished review



Reviewer:
6.8

101 users:
7.95
Band: Warbringer
Album: Woe To The Vanquished
Release date: March 2017


01. Silhouettes
02. Woe To The Vanquished
03. Remain Violent
04. Shellfire
05. Descending Blade
06. Spectral Asylum
07. Divinity Of Flesh
08. When The Guns Fell Silent


Warbringer, one of the most prominent representatives of the last decade's thrash resurgence, is back with a new album, four long years after the more experimental and definitely underrated IV: Empires Collapse. The band's latest output, Woe To The Vanquished, doesn't sound much like its predecessor, being more straightforward and risk-free.

Confession time: Warbringer never really clicked with me, mainly because I don't consider them to be much superior to the hundreds of thrash revivalist bands out there and secondly due to my distaste for John Kevill's vocals. The latter is no surprise since there is basically only a handful of thrash vocalists I like listening to. However, Warbringer have had talented musicians over the years and all their albums feature at least three or four memorable songs.

It is fairly obvious from the beginning of Woe To The Vanquished and the very enjoyable single "Silhouettes" that the band has returned to the song structure and style of their first three releases, so all you traditional thrashers can rejoice. However, this also means that the rock n' roll licks and the mind-blowing solos that we were lucky to hear in IV: Empires Collapse are missing. Too bad, if you ask me.

Taking into account that Woe To The Vanquished is another typical, Bay Area thrash-influenced Warbringer album, there is not a lot to analyse. If I have to point out something different and a little exciting, it must be the blackened riffing heard in the title track and in "Divinity Of Flesh". "Remain Violent" is the track that stands out, featuring everything thrash is about: catchy riffs, lyrics about violence and oppression by the authorities, backing vocals on the chorus adding to the fun attitude and a very uplifting and groovy drumming style. The album's closer is also a nice surprise, being a progressive and epic thrash effort, which takes up a quarter of the album's duration. The remaining songs fail to be characterized as noteworthy or outstanding.

Another less than impressive trait of this album is the production, which is extremely loud, often turning the music into a sound salad and undermining the listening experience, especially if you are wearing headphones. As a result, even though the band members play their instruments exceptionally well, the production fails to highlight this. And to top it all off, the vocals are excessively brought to the fore, rendering them even more annoying (at least to me) than they actually are.

In a few words, this album will likely leave Warbringer fans more than satisfied, being a return to their more familiar sound. As far as songwriting quality is concerned, Woe To The Vanquished is not at the same level as the band's first three full-lengths, but it does not fall too much behind either. If you are fond of Mr. Kevill's voice, you can add anything from 0.1 to 1 point to my final rating depending on the level of your fondness.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 6


 



Written on 05.07.2017 by See them shimmy see them go,
see their painted faces glow,
slow slow quick quick slow,
see those pagans go go go go go!


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 149 users
05.07.2017 - 20:34
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
This is the first Warbringer album I have listened to and I am digging it. I definitely get a Voivod-esq vibe from it, very prog and technical sounding. Excellent review and thanks.
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rekt
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06.07.2017 - 00:18
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by tea[m]ster on 05.07.2017 at 20:34

This is the first Warbringer album I have listened to and I am digging it. I definitely get a Voivod-esq vibe from it, very prog and technical sounding. Excellent review and thanks.

Try the first four then as well. I think they are all better than this one.
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on and on south of heaven

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06.07.2017 - 01:58
IH8Hipsters
I liked this album I think the rating is too low. But it's an opinion and if you hate the vocals then i completely understand. I'm the same way with some bands and can't get past it nor should I. You listen to what you like. I respect your opinion very much but I'd rate this album a solid 8. I like every song, it's a short album at 8 songs and I also like that. I have listened to it straight through probably 10 times and never once wanted to switch to a different album or skip a song. I also wasn't blown away hence the 8 rating. Not their best album but I don't think it's their worst either.
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06.07.2017 - 10:36
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by IH8Hipsters on 06.07.2017 at 01:58

I liked this album I think the rating is too low. But it's an opinion and if you hate the vocals then i completely understand. I'm the same way with some bands and can't get past it nor should I. You listen to what you like. I respect your opinion very much but I'd rate this album a solid 8. I like every song, it's a short album at 8 songs and I also like that. I have listened to it straight through probably 10 times and never once wanted to switch to a different album or skip a song. I also wasn't blown away hence the 8 rating. Not their best album but I don't think it's their worst either.

I don't really disagree with you, it didn't feel like a chore to listen to the whole thing more than 30 times in order to write the review and I also like the fact that it is short and doesn't drag. My main problems with it were the vocals and the production. However, 6.8 is nearly 7, which means "good", and it could go up to 7.8 (practically very good) depending on how much someone likes the vocals. I appreciate the feedback mate!
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on and on south of heaven

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08.07.2017 - 19:29
Bad English
Masterchief
I have same this band did not talk to me, just it took so many years before I even was able get into it, I was stick whit classic, this is more a bit influencal, more influences
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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10.07.2017 - 16:22
barnesy
Good review. I too feel the final score is a little low, but I like the vocals. I've been listening to this for a week now and it doesn't get old. Warbringer has a new fan.
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11.07.2017 - 15:11
K†ulu
Seeker of Truth
If your problem with the album is production, then you need to check your equipment or sound source (files/CD whatever) because the sound on this album is just spot-on. I also don't how can one not like John Kevill. I mean he is probably the best thrash vocalist out there.

When you are talking about songs, you highlight "Remain Violent" and "Divinity of Flesh" as "something different" but completely leave out "Spectral Asylum" and "When the Guns Fell Silent." And what about the ending of "Descending Blade?" How smart is that?

This review sucks, not because I disagree, but because it's not substantiated enough or, at times, plain wrong (lol at "risk-free"). I am writing my own soon!
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Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
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11.07.2017 - 22:24
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by K†ulu on 11.07.2017 at 15:11

This review sucks, not because I disagree

Yes, it's obvious.
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on and on south of heaven

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11.07.2017 - 22:28
Ralle
My first Warbringer album. 8/10
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13.07.2017 - 01:49
Daggon
Underpaid M.D.
Well, this is underwhelming compared to their previous albums.
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"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"
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21.07.2017 - 11:53
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by K†ulu on 11.07.2017 at 15:11

If your problem with the album is production, then you need to check your equipment or sound source (files/CD whatever) because the sound on this album is just spot-on. I also don't how can one not like John Kevill. I mean he is probably the best thrash vocalist out there.

Found the time for a detailed reply. Production is indeed one of my problems. The files used were 320kbps mp3 files provided by the band/label for the purpose of reviewing the album, so nothing wrong there. The equipment used is a pair of Sennheiser headphones, a Bose soundsystem in my car and a 5-speaker Sony soundsystem at home. All of them are used for every review. In this album, when the volume is turned up, the sound becomes a wall of noise, plain and simple. The argument "how can one not like John Kevill" is as legit as if someone said "how can you not like Reign In Blooood man? Fuckin' Slayeeeeer!!!". It's a good argument if you are less than 15 years old, but I'm way past that age and you are too. If you are such a big fan of Kevill, fine, it means that the score would be 7.8 and this is definitely the highest rating this album should get.

Written by K†ulu on 11.07.2017 at 15:11

When you are talking about songs, you highlight "Remain Violent" and "Divinity of Flesh" as "something different" but completely leave out "Spectral Asylum" and "When the Guns Fell Silent." And what about the ending of "Descending Blade?" How smart is that?

I'm not highlighting "Remain Violent" as different, but as a fantastic classic thrash song. So maybe you should read again. I left out "Spectral Asylum" and "Descending Blade", because they are not special to me. I did not completely leave out "When The Guns Fell Silent", instead I am writing that "the album's closer is also a nice surprise, being a progressive and epic thrash effort". Newsflash: "When The Guns Fell Silent" is the album's closer. So how smart is it to comment on a review, if you haven't really read it properly first?

Written by K†ulu on 11.07.2017 at 15:11

This review sucks, not because I disagree, but because it's not substantiated enough or, at times, plain wrong (lol at "risk-free"). I am writing my own soon!

This review may suck indeed, but not because it's not substantiated enough. If you laughed out loud with the statement that "Woe To The Vanquished doesn't sound much like its predecessor, being more straightforward and risk-free", please enlighten me in regard to the risks the band has taken compared to the previous album (which was indeed risky). As a final note, it's fine to disagree man, but ffs read first.
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on and on south of heaven

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