Whoa! Continuing with my current theme of album reviews…
WARBEAST: Krush The Enemy
Holy Balls! Do you like thrash metal? Are you starting to get sick of the thrash revival? Same here! However, Warbeast kicks a serious amount of ass. I picked up this debut album from Housecore Records (Phil Anselmo’s burgeoning record label – The dudes got a good ear for music – he should -I mean he’s in about tres billion other bands.) and let me tell you; if you were looking for some really diesel powerful and rocking metal then this would be the album to buy. These Texans definitely know how to keep the faith alive and make a fun straight forward album The album starts out strong with title track Krush Your Enemy and you know that once the vocals kick in that you are listening to something special. It also ends very strong. You can have a nice sit down and listen to this album in its entirety and probably play it again from start to finish. The cacophony of sound is very brutal but doesn’t get bogged down by mediocre riffing or derivative guitar parts. Lyrically you have pounding vocals about straight up thrash fair but the way Bruce Corbitt (ex-Rigor Mortis) weaves words together will leave a smirk on your face. There is some amazing originality on this record that is so rare in the modern day of metal. (At times the guitar tone is reminiscent of Dimebag Darrell’s, but not a rip off or hackneyed attempt to sound like the man himself. – Maybe it’s just a Texas thing) It’s actually extremely well produced and has a nice thick crunchy sound that many metal albums are missing today. I found myself headbanging along to it this morning at the gym which should tell you something. This is big sounding metal dude. There is no room for sweetness on this album as it is a 10 mile run at top speed jumping over everything in its way. Hopefully these guys will be around for a while and do a couple shows in New York.
Ozzy came out with a new album today. I listened to it. It’s a modern day Ozzy album…that’s not really saying much. It’s not a masterpiece. It’s not super great. It just is. The album is actually surprisingly heavy. Gus G does a great Zakk Wylde impression. I can’t help but feel on this one Ozzy is singing for a cover band. There are some pretty hooky parts (as with every Ozzy album) but only time will tell if this is something pretty cool or something that will get lost in the shuffle. I can’t really say much because like most metal heads – I am a bit of an Ozzy fanboy. I love his catalog and you know what – I eat up all the stuff he does – the show, the commercials, talk show appearances. The guy has always been a pop star – but the other side of the coin. He has always been flat out entertaining. The album is actually streaming all over the net. Check it out. This should have been a one line review of “Hey, it’s Ozzy – it can’t be all bad”
It’s no secret that if you know me; you know I have a complete obsession with all things metal. However, the face of metal is ever changing and there is a lot more bad and mediocre than there is anything worthwhile. It can be a sad state of affairs. We have jumped around from nu-metal, to metalcore, to more recently the two sub-genres that are flooding the market; thrash revival and deathcore. There are some really cool new bands out there that put a spin on the old regime of riffing and vocals (Warbeast and Holy Grail to name two) but most of it falls by the wayside. I don’t want to sound like an unprogressive metal head that listens to the same two Maiden albums all day (I don’t) but when times get cluttered with all these new un-memorable bands you want a tried and true band to show everyone how it’s done. Nevermore has been around for quite sometime and they are still semi underground. Maybe it’s the combination of ingredients that kind of turn people off. Jeff Loomis is one of the most underrated guitarists of all time. Jim Sheperd is a great bass player. Van Williams is pretty untouchable on the drums. Warrell Dane delivers poetic powerful vocals that are steeped in introspection and despair. That makes a pretty good equation for some good metal. Maybe its their progressive nature mixed with the vocal delivery that doesn’t do it for some people. All I know is that I have dug them for years and always try to shove them in someones face.
Their latest album which took 5 years to make dropped last week. The Obsidian Conspiracy. It’s not a return to form. It’s not the most revolutionary album they have ever had. It is however, a completely solid album. It’s actually a great album. There are a couple of low points (sometimes the chorus repetition on a few songs is pretty numerous) but mostly is is filled with high points and uniqueness within the structure of this band. Their last two albums were very brutal compared to their earlier stuff and it was a welcome addition to the catalog. This album has its moments of brutality but mostly it is a vehicle for Warrell Dane to deliver some of the best performances he has ever done on a CD. His lyrics are inspired as usual and as opposed to a whole lot of other metal he really digs deep to find the words and emotions that paint a vivid picture in your head. Its not the same formulaic stuff that modern metal is plagued with. They in fact took their own formula and twisted it until something new came out. There are some really touching moments on this album with the highlight being track 5 – Emptiness Unobstructed. It’s one of those songs that covers so much and will leave you awestuck at its simplicity. The album flows very well and its almost as if it were a concept album. You can listen to it from start to finish as one large opus and be satisfied. Its not a super long album either. (I come from the school of metal where a 33 minute album like Reign In Blood is a masterpiece) Hopefully this will be the first in a long line of good albums and a revitalization of the band for the masses. They are coming to NYC soon with a couple other good bands. They haven’t been here in forever and I gotta say – I’m pretty pumped. Check out the new album if you have some time. And check out this new video from the album. The song is amazing.