01. When Worlds Collide
02. Human Inner Core
03. Masses Gather in Masses
04. Insurgents Breed
05. Strength Defeats Decay
06. Last of Our Legacy
07. Age of Extreme
08. Knights of the Godless
09. We Die As One
10. Remember Them
3rd album by this legendary Death Metal machine from the UK. A magnific opus of epic and heavy Death Metal for this band that completes the british triarchy with two other legends from the same league such as BOLT THROWER & BENEDICTION.
It’s hard to digest the fact that such a quality album as ‘We Die As One’ had missed my attention when it was released last year, but as they say, better late than never. Bringing their 3rd full length, 2nd in 3 years WARLORD UK crushes you piece by piece as each of the song here is a trip to a nasty filthy jungle of Thrash-Death Metal.
I just picked this album as I liked the album cover art that I saw somebody post it on Facebook, and frankly I only expected something on the lines on clean Traditional Heavy Metal, and the ironic and interesting part is I just find out that there is another similarly named American band named WARLORD which actually is a Traditional Heavy Metal band. I find that WARLORD UK changed their name from their original name of WARLORD, which I assume is to avoid confusion and also to signify the place they come from. Fuck it, nevertheless this is a beast of an album consisting everything fans of aforementioned genres will dig. Right from the growling vocals of Mark White (one of the most amazing vocals that I have heard in recent times) to the fast paced guitar work of both axe-men Gary Thomas and Dan Brookes, everything here is what a fan of extreme metal in you is craving for, and this is old school feel music I am talking about. The vocals deserve a special mention as it reminds me of Jeff Hogg’s style as in, even though its Death Metal style, the lyrics are clearly audible and works perfectly with the thick juicy riffs. The drums and the bass are equally commendable though play more of a supporting role here. This is one of those albums I find it hard to pick a favourite song of mine and that’s for the right reasons as every song here is top notch and I hardly find anything wrong. The production is frankly moderate compared to some other albums that I heard in recent times. The only major critic that I have in this album is the intro and the outro song which are just elongated atmospheric music which doesn’t convince me even on multiple listening. While they aren’t bad, they just don’t meet the standards that the band sets with the rest of the album.
This record reminds me of bands like AUTOPSY, FACEBREAKER, INTERNAL NIGHTMARE and likewise, as this is old school Metal written at its best and makes me feel proud that such records are still made. Just blindly pick this album if you’re a fan of Death Thrash Metal.
WARLORD UK came into being in 1993 as a three-piece in Birmingham. It has existed in various incarnations before the line up it consists of today with Mark “Warlord” White on bass and vocals, Lee Foley on guitars, Brooksie also on guitars and Kevin Bartlett as a session drummer (while Warlord UK seek a full time drummer). 1st June will see the band release its new album, “We Die As One”, and I’ve been lucky enough to review it.
The album begins with an introduction called “When Worlds Collide”, an ominous track comprised of sludgy synth and echoing vocals. This song would not be out of place within a horror film, being used to set an eerie scene.
This theme continues briefly into the second song, “Human Inner Core” before the band enters into a dark frenzy of speedy drums, masterful guitars and bass, and deep, thrilling vocals. As someone who had never listened to Warlord before this album, it made me excited; the sound brought by the band playing together is exhilarating. The breakdown at 2:03 is a mighty and satisfying climax. The track is unforgiving, and rightly so, as it exhibits a great understanding of the death and thrash genres of metal. As I listen to it I find myself hoping that the rest of the album can keep up!
“Masses Gather in Masses” wastes no time in assuring me that it can, with a heavy, dynamic introduction. This track is absolutely solid, and shows that the band has no weak link at all. This makes me wish I was watching them; I can only imagine the atmosphere and energy when this is played live! The constant changes in tempo and pitch throughout this track make it feel as though I am being taken on a musical journey through Warlord UK’s tastes.
The next track: “Insurgents Breed” is absolutely epic and, while everyone in this band is clearly talented, I find Kevin Bartlett’s drumming in this worthy of a mention as being extraordinary. The clearly audible bass in this tune adds a depth which I think a few bands could learn from.
“Strength Defeats Decay” begins with drum and bass which border on funk and adds another, fantastically employed, dimension to this album. This quickly dissolves into more brutal death metal as Mark “Warlord” White’s gruff vocals enter, accompanied by equally robust guitars. These elements are combined towards the end of the song to make a dynamic combination. This enters overdrive at 3:49 as the track reaches its speedy climax.
Track number six, “Last of our Legacy” begins with mellow bass which is joined by faster guitar and drums 40 seconds in. This song sounds more sombre than the others on the album until 1:25 when the music switches to a faster pace to introduce more strong vocals from Mark White. The pace through out the song keeps changing with an exciting unpredictability.
“Age of Extreme” follows, and returns to the energy of the rest of the album with great drumming from Kevin Bartlett. It is a thrillingly dark track which features a couple of excellent guitar solos and some bass riffs that really stand out.
It is a shame that the speech which “Knights of the Godless” begins with is lost amongst the music and, therefore, difficult to hear, because it would have added an element of drama to the song to have been able to hear the words. Otherwise, the song is great.
“We Die as One” gives an immediate impression of what is to come musically with a fast introduction on guitars. The chorus features the line “We live, we die, we fight, we kill, we die as one.” which is compelling and also memorable in case audience participation is desired. I love having memorable lines like this to chant to at a live gig as it feels as though the audience and the band are bonding.
At only just over 2 minutes long, “Remember Them” is a different track to the rest of the album. It begins with female vocals over the top of ominous sounding bass and synth. It features the odd guitar line and, at the end, a mix of both female and male vocals. It keeps the ominous sound all the way through but also sounds quite sad. Personally, I think it’s a great way to end an energetic album.
The whole album is raw and powerful and shows why Warlord UK have been together so long. They work well as a unit, forming their own sound without straying from the conventions of death and thrash metal. It’s an enjoyable album and I’d recommend it to anyone.
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