Despite the uproar that has been made around WARBRINGER since the release of their EP, “One By One, The Wicked Fall” in 2006, the initial reaction to their debut album “War Without End” has been less than superb. It’s not that “War Without End” is a bad album at all – in fact, it’s pretty damn good. But the intense hype of the band has built up expectations beyond what this release could live up to.
The band does have Thrash Metal down to a point almost to the extent that the album is a little cliché. Their performances are great with awesome dueling guitars and some amazing solos from both guitar players. Not to mention there is a decent amount of audible bass along with some intense drumming that brings to mind the old days when drums weren’t triggered. But some of the song writing just feels a little ‘been there, done that’. And in all actuality this feeling isn’t based solely on the song writing.
It doesn’t help when you listened to their debut EP over and over (as I did with much glee) to find almost all the songs from the EP re-recorded for this release. I already felt that I had listened to most of the album even before I put it in. And the production value isn’t that much better than the demo to rectify this choice. Maybe Metal Blade Records threw pressure on the band to do so; I don’t know the circumstances but I felt a little cheated.
My biggest complaint with the album doesn’t actually stem from the band themselves. It’s the production. Right now it seems very cool for bands that play a throwback Thrash Metal sound to have production values that sound like they are from the 80s too but with WARBRINGER, it actually felt like the band suffered from the production. It sapped some of the energy of that they build with their music. Even though it’s produced by the somewhat legendary Bill Metoyer, I was a little thrown back.
Despite all of these speed bumps for “War Without End”, I still find myself listening to the album quite a bit. It’s not the best, but it’s still damn enjoyable especially if you love Thrash Metal. I guess maybe I was hoping for so much more when I imagined this release. Their EP was so amazing and this album is a pretty good follow up but I could have done with at least a few more new songs instead.
Songs to check out: “Total War”, “Hell On Earth”, “Combat Shock.”
(Online March 25, 2008)