Wage War - Deadweight album review

Soaring, diverse metalcore from the Sunshine State

Cover art for Wage War - Deadweight album

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Fearless knew talent when they signed it with this Floridian five-piece. Wage War’s 2015 debut album, Blueprints, set them apart from their metalcore peers, and Deadweight sees them maturing in all the right directions. Their latest has a comfortingly familiar style but both the songwriting and screamed/sung vocals have grown more powerful and neatly intertwined. This diverse album blends the crushingly heavy with the convincingly melodic to deliver something quite electric. Two Years, Disdain and Stitch deliciously spotlight the band’s brutal side, while Don’t Let Me Fade Away and the intoxicatingly catchy Southbound pull in the clean, heartfelt choruses. Gravity stands out for its gentle opening, emotionally anthemic style and distantly chugging riffs, while Johnny Cash boasts haunting overlapping clean cries and gruff roars. Indestructible is the album’s weak link with an overly obvious chorus and key change, but its suddenly vicious close makes for a solid recovery. Overall, this slickly produced mix of unapologetically aggressive vocals, soaring choruses, crunchy riffs and effective breakdowns is authentic, emotional and strangely therapeutic.