Warbringer- Warbringer IV: Empires Collapse

\"WarbringerWith thrash metal running through their veins and a desire to keep things heavy, Warbringer have just released their spanking new album, Warbringer IV: Empires Collapse, and we\’ve been sent through a copy to check out. Originally formed back in 2004 and signed to Century Media Records, it seems fitting that Warbringer have chosen the name for their album, representing their fourth album (War Without End (2008), Waking Into Nightmares (2009), Worlds Torn Asunder (2011),  and their continued prominence in the world of music. Seeing as we were sent through a copy to check out, we thought it only right that we crank the volume, hit play, and check things out for ourselves! Kicking things off with “Horizon” we’re led into the album beginning with intricate guitar work, all building to an almighty crescendo to fully reveal the power on hand from this thrash unit. Fast paced and the sort of thing that’s going to ignite a live audience from the word go, the blistering guitar and drum work that combines here is sure to get people moving, jumping and loving every moment of it. There’s no doubting the thrash metal style going on here, yet at the same time, Warbringer have managed to make it sound fresh, new and exciting, developing from a once over-done genre and turning it back into something that deserves some serious recognition. This is an approach that continues into “The Turning Of The Gears,” sounding almost akin to Machine Head in many ways at first, before once again resuming their rampage. Bass heavy and firmly rooted in the world of distortion, this track continues to push the boundaries you’d expect to come across on a record like this, continuing to keep things interesting, in your face, and quite simply phenomenal. Moving through “One Dimension,” “Hunter Seeker” and “Black Sun, Black Moon” we soon reach “Scars Remain,” one of the serious high points on the album. Packed with rolling drums, hammering guitar work and a real sense of their live show being captured, this track stands out as one that’s going to gain the band some serious recognition. As if to fully hammer home the point of the track, throughout we’re led through a veritable journey, with different sections of the track making up different parts, transporting you from the hammering and distorted section through to a more serene and musically challenging section, before once again smashing you around the head with a serious dose of Warbringer thrash style. Moving on to “Dying Light” we reach another pinnacle, this time pulling back from the edge and forming a track based around a much slower approach designed to fully accentuate everything that’s going on. Sludgy and to the point throughout, this track is once again one which is going to go down a storm on the live scene, encouraging the fans to get moving, get involved, and to take on board the serious power that the guys have got at their disposal. This power is pivotal to this album, and progressing on through “Iron City,” “Leviathan” and “Off With Their Heads!” there’s no relenting, each track hammering ever onwards towards the conclusion of the album and demonstrating how much of a force to be reckoned with Warbringer are surely going to be once people get hold of this album. Closing with “Towers Of The Serpent,” the album is brought to a close in the only way possible, finishing on one final hurrah packed with distortion, power and aggression. Despite all of this though, there’s once again a serious amount of musical ability contained herein, demonstrating that this isn’t just a band who rely on distortion, they understand their craft, have the ability to perform it with aplomb, and can produce the goods when the moment calls for it. There’s only one choice remaining as the track comes to a close, hit rewind and go back through it all over again. What’s really striking throughout this album is how Warbringer have managed to capture the essence of thrash metal, yet at the same time have managed to craft a sound that becomes their own, transforming a once-tired genre into something fresh, exciting and new. This album isn’t just the latest offering from Warbringer, it’s the reinvention of thrash metal, the rejuvenation that we’ve all been waiting for, and a moment that is surely going to propel the band onwards and upwards – and personally, I can’t wait to see it happen. Highly recommended – you’d be a fool not to listen to this album. Rating: 10/10 – Dave Nicholls