Rating:
9.0
Warrel Dane - Praises To The War Machine
29 April 2008


01. When We Pray
02. Messenger [feat. Jeff Loomis]
03. Obey
04. Lucretia My Reflection [The Sisters Of Mercy cover]
05. Let You Down [feat. Chris Broderick]
06. August
07. Your Chosen Misery
08. The Day The Rats Went To War [feat. James Murphy]
09. Brother
10. Patterns [Paul Simon cover]
11. This Old Man
12. Equilibrium


Warrel Dane is a name to which fans of the US Thrash Metal band Nevermore bow to, and for good reasons. He is clearly one the greatest Metal singers out there with his trained voice and aptitude at raising the emotional bar album after album. So when Warrel released his first solo album, I had to check it out.

Teaming with Peter Wichers [guitars/bass, also the producer, Soilwork], Matt Wickland [guitars/bass] and Dirk Verbeuren [drums, Soilwork/Scrave and a renowned session drummer], Warrel Dane created a fantastic album much in the same musical style as a Nevermore album with a more personal touch. Yes, Jeff Loomis and Chris Broderick helped out with a solo each, but apart from that one stint, Praises to the War Machine does not have that Nevermore trademark guitar sound. Talking about guests, how about living legend James Murphy [ex-Death, ex-Testament] soloing on 'The Day the Rats Went to War'?

But the musician names set aside this first solo album is an out of this world collection of diverse songs, featuring Warrel's voice at his best, in all its nuances. A melancholic feeling flows through the compositions; with thought-out lyrics and a level of passion expressed by a singer rarely reached. The opening song 'When We Pray' does not give listeners the complete picture of this album, but gives them a handful to handle from the get-go. From the distinct vocal prowess and heavy guitar riffs to poignant lyrics, this one is overall a striking song. And the album unravels and does not let go from that point onwards.

While I don't want to spoil all the surprises, a great cover of The Sisters of Mercy 'Lucretia My Reflection' from the album Floodland adds even more value to Praises to the War Machine. Dane managed to capture the spirit of the original song while giving it his personal touch. The same remark applies to the other cover song of the album, a new take on Paul Simon's 'Patterns'.

With Travis Smith masterful mind crafting once more a fantastic artwork, and a concept inspired by the one he did for Nevermore's Dead Heart in a Dead World, this album gets all the points on presentation. The production is flawless, on par with Nevermore albums for that matter.

While some of you might be missing Jeff Loomis trademark guitar sound, Praises to the War Machine is a killer album in all aspects. Warrel Dane more than proves his point with this album. Whether it is through an "in-your-face" track or a smooth ballad Dane floors listeners with his vocal abilities laid down on stunning compositions. This is the best surprise of the year so far for me.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Warrel Dane
Album: Praises To The War Machine


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 18.10.2008



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corrupt - 18.10.2008 at 21:56  
Damn, I had already finnished my own review of it and was just working the details. You beat me to it
But I agree with almost every word, although my rating would have been around 8.5. I don't appreciate the song patterns though, it doesn't really fit into the album's context.
Anyway, very well written review, I enjoyed reading this. And it even make me reach for the album once again. Absolutely gorgeous.
=maD.Doc:. - 18.10.2008 at 23:54  
Demonic Tutor, just saw something that I hook up at, Peter Wickers, if it is the Soilwork guitarist you really mean his name is Peter Wichers (with an H not K). Otherwise, great review! Got me somewhat interested, will check this album out when I have the time!
METAL! - 18.10.2008 at 23:57  
This is an awesome album. I love the emotions Warrel put into his lyrics.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.10.2008 at 00:20  
I know I am swimming against the stream here but this was a very disappointing uninspired bland album. Warrel is capable of so much better stuff than what he delivers here. Songwriting is subpar here as well as his vocal delivery. A crying shame. Totally doesn't live up to the hype.
Now if you don't mind I'll get back to the Sanctuary and Nevermore albums instead.
corrupt - 19.10.2008 at 00:26  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.10.2008 at 00:20

I know I am swimming against the stream here but this was a very disappointing uninspired bland album. Warrel is capable of so much better stuff than what he delivers here. Songwriting is subpar here as well as his vocal delivery. A crying shame. Totally doesn't live up to the hype.
Now if you don't mind I'll get back to the Sanctuary and Nevermore albums instead.

Boy, you do have a thing with poor Warrel these days. Don't like his album, don't like the Nevermore DVD...
But I can understand what you mean. I was disappointed too at first. But once the image of a Warrel outside the context of Nevermore and Sanctuary settles, it gets to show what it truly is. Give it another try in a few weeks, and mind that he really wanted to do a gothic influenced, soft album. Comparison to his other work doens't do it justice.
HardSide - 19.10.2008 at 00:27  
Not a fan of nevermore by any means, I think its a crappy band, with that said, this album was a suprise to me, its good, not as great as for me to give a 9, but definately 7-8, and with this album ill try and give nevermore another shot.
corrupt - 19.10.2008 at 00:29  
Try their first albums then, they are much more emotional than their current work.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.10.2008 at 00:30  
Written by corrupt on 19.10.2008 at 00:26

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.10.2008 at 00:20

I know I am swimming against the stream here but this was a very disappointing uninspired bland album. Warrel is capable of so much better stuff than what he delivers here. Songwriting is subpar here as well as his vocal delivery. A crying shame. Totally doesn't live up to the hype.
Now if you don't mind I'll get back to the Sanctuary and Nevermore albums instead.

Boy, you do have a thing with poor Warrel these days. Don't like his album, don't like the Nevermore DVD...
But I can understand what you mean. I was disappointed too at first. But once the image of a Warrel outside the context of Nevermore and Sanctuary settles, it gets to show what it truly is. Give it another try in a few weeks, and mind that he really wanted to do a gothic influenced, soft album. Comparison to his other work doens't do it justice.


I have given it a gazzilion tries, cause I truly like his voice. But he is not suited for what he's trying to do here. I didn't want to compare it to his other works, but because this is so subpar you automatically (or at least I automatically) start comparing it to stuff he did well.
corrupt - 19.10.2008 at 00:34  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.10.2008 at 00:30

I have given it a gazzilion tries, cause I truly like his voice. But he is not suited for what he's trying to do here. I didn't want to compare it to his other works, but because this is so subpar you automatically (or at least I automatically) start comparing it to stuff he did well.

I hate, when people disagree with me
Maybe it's just not for you then. But don't come crawling back whining when you finally find your way into it
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.10.2008 at 00:36  
Written by corrupt on 19.10.2008 at 00:34

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.10.2008 at 00:30

I have given it a gazzilion tries, cause I truly like his voice. But he is not suited for what he's trying to do here. I didn't want to compare it to his other works, but because this is so subpar you automatically (or at least I automatically) start comparing it to stuff he did well.

I hate, when people disagree with me
Maybe it's just not for you then. But don't come crawling back whining when you finally find your way into it


I doubt I will ever find my way into it since I have truly listened to it at least 50 times.
Demonic Tutor - 19.10.2008 at 05:29  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.10.2008 at 00:36

Written by corrupt on 19.10.2008 at 00:34

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.10.2008 at 00:30

I have given it a gazzilion tries, cause I truly like his voice. But he is not suited for what he's trying to do here. I didn't want to compare it to his other works, but because this is so subpar you automatically (or at least I automatically) start comparing it to stuff he did well.

I hate, when people disagree with me
Maybe it's just not for you then. But don't come crawling back whining when you finally find your way into it


I doubt I will ever find my way into it since I have truly listened to it at least 50 times.


Marcel, you are even more messed up than I thought then. Your loss.
Southern Wind - 19.10.2008 at 06:26  
Great album. I had never dedicated much time to Nevermore, so I won't make the obvious comparisons, but I enjoyed Warrel Dane A LOT.
Carrion Misery - 19.10.2008 at 06:57  
Written by HardSide on 19.10.2008 at 00:27

Not a fan of nevermore by any means, I think its a crappy band, with that said, this album was a suprise to me, its good, not as great as for me to give a 9, but definately 7-8, and with this album ill try and give nevermore another shot.


Well, Nevermore is a very sophisticated band (musically and lyrically), so its very easy for one who doesn't listen to well constructed music to say they are a crappy band. Its an acquired taste I suppose.

Nevermore aside, I did enjoy Praises to the War Machine and I felt it was a great feat for Warrel Dane. It isn't going to be for someone who is bound to the rageful, aggression emotions, or only wants crazy breakdowns and bust your face open riffs. It is a great piece to appreciate if you're into studying music, vocals and lyrics rather than one trying to be tough with it in their car. Nothing wrong with feeling tough in your car listening to metal at all, but there's no need to criticise great music someone put their heart into. Thats how it goes though. Good review.
BestMetalstormer - 19.10.2008 at 12:17  
More rock than goth except track 4, Lucretia My Reflection, his voice clearly is not so much goth. I can enjoy the music but because it has progressive and power element influence.
ponderer - 19.10.2008 at 15:56  
There shouldn't be any obvious comparisons to make if your brain functions normally. This isn't Nevermore, it was never intended to be Nevermore. Solo projects are a reflection of what the person is feeling, and their work outside of the main band. I'm glad this doesn't sound like Nevermore, and I'm pleased to see Warrel doing his own thing. This is an epic offering. 10.
Dark Blood - 19.10.2008 at 17:40  
Warrel is a great musician. He already proved it in the past, but now it's time for his own project and I think it couldn't have been more perfect than this for the first album. Very good review Olivier, I must agree with it in almost every point (including the rating). Thanks man.
sevendeadlysins - 19.10.2008 at 19:01  
I think that it's just bad album.
I was expecting more.
misanthroman - 27.10.2008 at 23:10  
This album is clearly a nine+,How can anyone consider themselves a metal fan and not at least like some of this stuff or Nevermore,time to get those ears flushed out and when you brush your toung make sure you brush that food residue off,good reveiw!!!
Landry - 28.10.2008 at 20:31  
This album is really awesome! I love the songs August - it's so beautiful - and Your Chosen Misery - even though it's slow, it's filled with emotion. Lucretia My Reflection was a surprise but a good one. The vocals on it is different to what he usually does but it's still part of his brilliance!
ArcesseEum - 02.11.2008 at 20:36  
Needs moar Nevermoar - No more solo projects please!
Vitriolic Hate - 15.12.2008 at 03:16  
Great Album!!!
Justice - 31.12.2009 at 15:45  
For me this is the best solo project that i've seen till now
Throne - 22.01.2010 at 00:42  
My personal oppinion, which I am entitled to, is that Dane sounds way better on here than any Nevermore album. And trust me, I have every Nevermore album, and to me it is a frusterating band, I think that he can be overwhelmingly bland sometimes, and then others way too over the top. I don't doubt that he has an amazing voice, I know he has an insane range, but for me, he tries to be all evil sounding in Nevermore, and fails. I know a lot of you love Nevermore, but to me, his note choice is way better on this album.
Night Sight - 31.05.2011 at 21:12  
I dont like this album
warrel dane voice is better in nevermore
it is very bad

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