No ‘Collapse’ For Warbringer On Fourth Album


It’s difficult to break out of the Re-Thrash genre. Its landscape is littered by bands doing little to build off of already established sounds, and becoming an echo-chamber of power chords, group shouts, and Natty Light. No one wants to hear remakes of the classics — especially by dudes who were in grade school when the classics first hit shelves. So modern thrash bands need a unique personality and excitement to offer. The ones who garner notoriety bring in influences from all over the metal spectrum, whether it be from black metal, death metal, prog, or all of the above.

Of course, a band can make a name for themselves without any wild deviations from the thrash/speed metal sound. But Warbringer doesn’t yet have the profile of their contemporaries in Revocation — despite being on a bigger label and having formed at about the same time. Maybe Warbringer music just hasn’t hit the right ears yet, but that might be about to happen with IV: Empires Collapse. A mere throwaway re-thrash band they are not.

Still, upon first listen of lead single “Hunter-Seeker,” I was quick to write off Warbringer; my skepticism of the re-thrash movement tainted my first experience with IV, and in hindsight, I know that’s a damn shame. The brilliance of Warbringer isn’t exactly immediate, but grows quickly due to their efficiency in bringing the thrash in all of its form and fashion. From the …And Justice For All-esque progressiveness of album-opener “Horizon” — which ends with a beautiful, distinguished acoustic passage — to the pervasive crossover/hardcore elements, Warbringer’s playbook for IV incorporates all takes on the genre.

At its core, IV: Empires Collapse is a fun album (despite the serious tone of its cover and title). This is extreme thrash with the fast and catchy riffs you expect, but again, it’s the Warbringer personality that sets IV apart: Take the wacky guitar solos in “Off With Their Heads!” or the Tom Araya shrieks on “Dying Light” and “Towers of the Serpent.” So we see that Warbringer’s self-awareness puts them ahead of the curve — as do their moments of progressive musicianship — and IV: Empires Collapse never comes across as a caricature of the genre. There’s at all nothing wrong with that.

Warbringer’s fourth album IV: Empires Collapse is out October 29 on Century Media. Pre-order here!

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