Warbringer - Woe To The Vanquished album review

Thrash diehards still plying the same line of attack

Cover art for : Warbringer - Woe To The Vanquished album

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Has it been nine years since these SoCal metallers first stormed onto the scene with 2008’s War Without End? At a time when Bay Area thrash was enjoying a feverish revival, Warbringer went far beyond simply rehashing the speed-driven riffs and stop-on-a-dime tempos of the old gods, breathing a modern, fist- pumping vitality into their attack.

Produced by Mike Plotnikoff (Fear Factory, In Flames) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Slayer, Pantera), Woe… lacks neither polish nor force, as heard on pulverising first single Silhouettes. Warbringer continue to do old-school thrash really well and Remain Violent and the title track faithfully evoke the headbanging, beer-sodden pugnacity of a late-80s circlepit. Warbringer’s evolution here, however, is measured in inches rather than miles. The musicianship is there in spades and frontman John Kevill turns in another roaring performance, but while their fifth studio outing delivers all the pounding thrash riffage and machine-gun tempos a thrash freak could want, their aversion to risk feels more pronounced than ever.

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.