Monday, 8 August 2016

ALBUM REVIEW - Warfather - "The Grey Eminence"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/09/2016
Label: Greyhaze Records


“The Grey Eminence” is a better record than Warfather's debut (which was in itself a good album!) and is a credit to those involved. This is a style of death metal I like a lot; a mixture of all elements of the genre without too much of any one thing. This is controlled force and a must listen for death metal heads everywhere.

“The Grey Eminence” CD//DD track listing:

1). Order of the Horde
2). Headless Men Can No Longer Speak
3). Judgement, the Hammer
4). For Glory or Infamy
5). The Dawning Inquisition
6). Heedless Servant
7). Carnage of the Pious
8). Grey Eminence
9). Fair and Final Warning

The Review

Warfather return with this, their second album of deathly and dark delights. Steve Tucker (Morbid Angel) is the marquee name here and the pedigree is apparent from the off. This is, as “Orchestrating The Apocalypse”, was, brutal and tech minded death metal... but with melody and cleaner sections that elevate the album to greater heights than you might expect. “Order of The Horde” has all these elements and they are each deployed with frightening precision. “Headless Men Can No Longer Speak” is a serpentine track that unwinds as the song progresses. The instruments are handled expertly, of course, but the lead breaks and time changes again place the band a cut above many others in the genre.

As death metal goes, the record displays a fair amount of emotional range; slower Morbid Angel-style pacing rears its head on “Judgement, the Hammer” but convincing mood shifts are never too far away. This is not an all out assault all of the time, it is perhaps  best described by echoing Tommy Vance's description of Slayer's set at Donington in 1992 to unwitting Radio 1 listeners: “this is controlled force”.

The nine tracks on offer here are more than enough; several are over the six minute mark, with one of the tracks a little under four minutes. The complexity this allows is a given; the band make the most of the playing time and weave intricate passages of music throughout. “For Glory and Infamy” and “The Dawning Inquisition” are fine examples of the bands writing; one longer, the other shorter, both complex and labyrinthine. “Heedless Servant” has some lower tempos on offer and creeps forth out of the speakers. This is a cracking track and a good example of the breadth of the material available.

“Carnage of the Pious” has a compelling opening and features some excellent rhythmical twists and turns; it really runs the whole gamut! A tour de force! The title track is similarly perplexing in arrangement and delivery- while being a wholly satisfying listen too, of course. With “Fair and Final Warning”, the band finish off this second album with a confident and muscular display of death metal.

“The Grey Eminence” is a better record than Warfather's debut (which was in itself a good album!) and is a credit to those involved. This is a style of death metal I like a lot; a mixture of all elements of the genre without too much of any one thing. A must listen for death metal heads everywhere.

“The Grey Eminence” is available here

Band info: facebook

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