San Diego’s Lord Of War make music that fits neatly into the extreme end of modern metal, but the devil is in the details: the band’s second album, Suffer, stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of likeminded records released this year thanks to a heady blend of bludgeoning familiarity and deft, original touches. Led by guitarist duo Alexx Walshaw and Daniel Richardson, Lord Of War’s box-fresh sound grew from an unexpected conversion to the ways of heavy.
“If I’m honest, before I started this band I hated metal!” laughs Alexx. “But then I heard The Black Dahlia Murder everything clicked and I loved it. I’d never heard harmonised guitars used like that before. So suddenly I was all about it! I switched over to metal and Lord Of War grew from that.”
Primarily underpinned by science-fiction themes, Suffer is a textbook example of how great songwriting is the key to making albums that linger in the memory. Even within the brutal, futuristic death metal assault of songs like Embryo and Carbon Based Genocide, Lord Of War manage to cram in endless hooks and tons of atmosphere, most effectively on the refined emotional bombast of album highlight Drowning.
“Yeah, the album is definitely about aliens and science-fiction, but Drowning is more of a personal song,” Alexx explains. “When I wrote it, I felt trapped. We hated touring, we didn’t have the right bandmembers and then we got dropped by our management company. It felt like we were suffocating, and I’m sure some people can relate to that. We weren’t really sure how that song would mesh with songs about an alien god destroying shit onanother planet, but apparently it’s working out!”
UK metalheads won’t have long to wait before Lord Of War hit these shores, as the band are touring Europe with Vader and Hate Eternal this month. With a full lineup in place and a growing reputation as a thunderously entertaining live band, Alexx’s fears for the future have transformed into genuine optimism and relief that the world is beginning to take notice.
“Nobody cares about us over here in the United States. It’s hard,” he states. “It’s really hard to break into the scene without the time and money to do so. But when we post stuff on Facebook, it’s all people from other countries that are paying attention to us. We’re just two assholes from San Diego, but a big metal magazine wants to write about us and we’re going to London. That really blows our minds!”
LORD OF WAR HIT THE UK WITH VADER THIS MONTH. SUFFER IS OUT NOW VIA UNIQUE LEADER