Wednesday 19 June 2013

Warbeast - Destroy (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 13/4/2013
Label : Season of Mist

Destroy, album track listing:
01 'Cryogenic Thawout'
02 'Nightmares In the Sky'
03 'Egotistical Bastard'
04 'Nobody'
05 'The Day Of…'
06 'Warbeast'
07 'Blood Moon'
08 'War of the Worlds'
09 'Destroy'

The lone star is on fire! WARBEAST from Dallas, Texas return with their devastating second album "Destroy"! Led by former RIGOR MORTIS vocalist Bruce Corbitt, WARBEAST's uncompromising brand of no-mercy Thrash Metal has steamrolled towns all over the world. Buzzing guitars and punishing blastbeats meshed with fierce vocal aggression conjure up the old school spirit in a perfect ritual. EXODUS and DESTRUCTION are just two audible sources of inspiration. Yet these Texans are driven far beyond nostalgic musing. Their furious speed is at least a notch above what was considered possible in the 80's. WARBEAST's technical abilities are equally reflecting the top of today's standards as does the massive and crisp production of "Destroy". This album was engineered by Stephen "The Big Fella" Berrigan in Phil Anselmo's Nodferatu's Lair Studios in Louisiana. The former PANTERA frontman did not only discovered this band, but also acted as producer and invited them to join as main support on his tour with DOWN in Europe last autumn. WARBEAST were formed in 2006 by Bruce Corbitt and count RIGOR MORTIS, GAMMACIDE and DEMONSEED among their sonic genealogy, the members have been respectively doling out crushing music for over two decades. In 2010 their full-length debut "Krush the Enemy" hit the world hard and reaped much acclaim around the globe. Building up to the release of "Destroy", two WARBEAST tracks "It" and "Birth of a Psycho" share a split with Anselmo's solo material entitled "War of the Gargantuas". This EP serves a prelude of the glory to come. Now WARBEAST are ready to challenge the champions of Thrash with the unleashed ferocity of "Destroy"!

Texas, you’ve always known how to treat me right with metal.  I mean, you’ve given me Pantera, Power Trip, The Sword, Drowning Pool and many, many others.  And now, not only have you given me WARBEAST, but you’re also telling me that none other than Phil H. Anselmo helped produce their new album?  And they’re signed to his label too?  Boy, I’m being spoilt rotten today.  Their latest album is entitled ‘Destroy’, and lives up to the name with each skull-splitting track that assaults my ears. 

The album starts proceedings with the chugging instrumental metal train that is ‘Cryogenic Thawout’, which ends with an explosion, squeals of tormented guitars and the chattering of gunfire.  Then the drums roll in like a squadron of bombers, unleashing the payload of guitar riffs down upon your defenceless ears.  Aptly titled ‘Nightmares in the Sky’, vocalist Bruce Corbitt sounds like Tom Araya on a particularly hostile day.  The music is a testament to Slayer’s thrash opus ‘Reign in Blood’: Jeff Hanneman would be very proud of you guys. 

Scott Shelby and Bobby Tillotson are guitarists with an agenda: they simply want to push their skills to the very limits, while retaining their bristling intensity.  ‘Egotistical Bastard’ roars and pounds like a cage fight between rabid bears, Corbitt spitting venom with Anselmo-emulating fury.  The pace doesn’t let up one iota as Joey Gonzalez’s drum onslaught brings in ‘Nobody’, another galloping instant thrash classic that makes the head bang and the blood pump.  The track’s lyrics remind me of Pantera’s ‘Becoming’: ‘Nobody’ is all about standing up against adversity and showing you are not afraid.  If you haven’t guessed it, this is one of my favourite songs on ‘Destroy’, and I urge you to have a listen ASAP. 

‘The Day of...’ is ‘Destroy’’s longest track: over 7 minutes long, it coils and pounces like a rattlesnake at the listener.  Casey Orr’s pummeling basslines shine through on this, and every guitar solo and fill sounds rich.  The soundbites of disasters and warfare add to the feeling of doom and catastrophe: WARBEAST’s epic ‘The Day of…’ is a grim warning never to forget that we are the greatest threat to ourselves.  When this track fades out, ‘Warbeast’ (the song) kicks you in the stomach and knees you in the face.  That’s what happens when you let your guard down, buddy! It’s a full-on fistfight of a tune, aggression and attitude combining to create something truly astonishing. 

‘Blood Moon’ follows the mayhem of ‘Warbeast’ with rapid-fire riffs and yet more Slayer-esque thrash awesomeness.  The theme deals with werewolves, and it’s certainly a wild animal of a song which claws at you and aches to sink its teeth into your flesh.  When the sounds of the wolf’s howls hit you, the music suddenly kicks up massively and the hunt for you begins.  When ‘Blood Moon’ ends, you feel like you’ve escaped from a dark beast’s clutches.  Then ‘War of the World’ saunters up next to you and grins, evilly.  This is a much sludgier beginning than any of the other tracks preceding it, but then the pace ramps up and turns into a whirlwind of slicing solos and hammer blow drum fills. 

The title track of the album is another long track: a 6-minute burst of violent energy, ‘Destroy’ is ‘Master of Puppets’ fighting ‘Angel of Death’ on top of a storm-ravaged mountaintop.  The guitar solos are lightning bolts that hurtle down around the combatants, sending sparks and debris flying everywhere.  This is thrash at its most epic: a winner on every level.  We finish up the album with ‘Nameless’ (a bonus track which I’m very lucky to have been given with this package): it’s a blinding tune which is nothing less than full-throttle hostility and rage.  Wicked. 

WARBEAST are Texans with swagger, talent and (hopefully) a glittering future ahead of them.  If you like your thrash, your mayhem, your honest-to-goodness METAAAAAAAL then check out this titanic quintet post-haste, and unleash the WARBEAST. 

Words : Chris Markwell

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available everywhere now. Thanks as always to Gunnar @ SOM for the hook up.