|War Within - War Within
01. Bombs Away
02. Pretty Picture
03. Pulling Me
04. My Identity
05. Man Of Chromosome
06. Perdition Of My Reminiscence
07. Castrate (But They Still Have Hands)
08. School Yard
10. Feral Child
11. Diary Of The Heavens
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, War Within claim their band name is more a reflection on their lives. And part of this 'War' they say is that they live in the country music capital of the world. So while this album, their self titled début, isn't a revelational masterpiece, it's rather a decent effort all things considered.
From the start you hear music that would have to draw influence from bands such as Pantera. Although War Within is a Thrash Metal band, they have some Alternative Metal elements as well. Don't be put off though, their alternative sounds are more along the lines of old (and recent too really) Machine Head. I know not everyone out there is a Machine Head fan but some of their material (and War Within's) is actually quite heavy and gutsy. War Within actually contains quite a bit of variety. Most of the songs are hard and rather structured Thrash Metal, but there are some pieces where more classical guitar work is used and even a piano piece at the end of the last track. Don't be fooled, War Within isn't a Melodic Death Metal album or anything; the album just has a little musical variety to keep things interesting. Mike Smith's vocals as well aren't the same all the way through. At times they are clean and at other times they have an added layer of harshness. At the same time, they aren't exactly akin to a Death Metal growl either. His vocals have an air of 'alternativeness' to them at times which might deter some people, but it's not all that noticeable or off-putting. And of course fans of Alternative music will enjoy the sound of his voice.
Vocals aside, I think the actual music (especially the guitar work) is the standout feature on War Within. Instruments such as Justin Ward's drum work is quite fine and he does a good job of intertwining his thunderous beats with the guitars and bass but the heaviness of the guitars is what attracted me. Each riff is prominent and has a modern cleanness about it. It's a little reminiscent of Kreator's latest album 'Enemy Of God'. A modern sound, but still rather extreme.
So overall War Within is a pretty tidy album. It would be enjoyed mostly by fans of bands such as Machine Head, but still worth a listen for the casual Thrasher.