Warbringer - _War Without End_
(Century Media, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (
If at any point the thought had crossed your mind that the tsunami of thrash releases that swept 2007 was over and done with, you may want to consider dipping your privates into icy cold water and waking up to something the rest of us refer to as "reality". With names like Municipal Waste and Evile steadily garnering more street cred than their bedraggled metalcore counterparts, you can rest assured that the current rehash of a genre many laid to rest in 1989 will continue well into the next decade.Los Angeles-based upstarts, Warbringer, certainly have the act nailed, right down to the Cold War-inspired obsession that their predecessors had with the many nasty faces of armed global conflict. Musically there's little separating them from the list of usual suspects either; "Total War" kicks off with duelling solos that aren't a million miles away from those you may recall drunkenly air-guitaring to on _Darkness Descends_. "Systematic Genocide" meanwhile lures us in with a hulking groove that actively recalls any of Exodus' vintage material, and on "At the Crack of Doom" we're treated to what used to be an almost obligatory piece of acoustic noodling.Yet even with precious little originality to be found, Warbringer's debut nonetheless proves remarkably listenable, mainly thanks to the sheer caste and conviction with which the band air each of their chosen genre's many hallmarks. Where others could so easily have faltered -- and let's face it, there's been a lot of that going around lately -- _War Without End_ provides a far more compelling reason to dust off your white high-top Nikes than several other releases of its ilk could ever hope to.
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