Friday 27 December 2013

Warfather - Orchestrating The Apocalypse (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 21/1/2014
Label : Greyhaze Records

Orchestrating The Apocalypse , album track listing :

01. XII 04:53
02. Legions 02:20
03. My Queen Shall Not Be Mourned 06:14
04. Taunting The Deity 00:34
05. The Shifting Poles 03:03
06. Waltz Of The Solstice 05:12
07. Summoning The Warfathers 00:48
08. Ageless Merciless 02:46
09. The Chaos Of 00:51
10. Gods And Machines 05:18
11. Ashes and Runes 05:15
12. We Are The Wolves 04:39

Bio :

The new full-time project fronted by ex-Morbid Angel bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker, WARFATHER sees Tucker back to fronting a death metal outfit after over a decade since his departure from Morbid Angel, and over two years since his participation as a vocalist and writer in the well-received Nader Sadek project. On the impending attack, Tucker states, “I am stoked about WARFATHER and our first album! WARFATHER is more than just a metal band; it is a belief system and a meeting of the minds, the ones that can see what is truly happening in the times we are living in. Orchestrating The Apocalypse is a warning to the eyes that choose to be blind, and a call to arms to the minds that do feel the coming changes. It is pure blackened, apocalyptic death metal. Fuck religion, fuck the government! This is their apocalypse. Our time is NOW!”

Orchestrating The Apocalypse brutalizes in a relentless style that builds on the work laid on the three Tucker-fronted Morbid Angel albums --Formulas Fatal To The Flesh,Gateways To Annihilation andHeretic -- resounding with over forty minutes of pure American death metal.WARFATHER delivers an intense, debilitating performance that should no doubt please fans of Morbid Angel, Nile, and Behemoth, while also sporadically infusing unique even bizarre atmospheric elements, elevating the album to a cutting-edge status. The album was recorded and mixed at Cincinnati-based TME studios by Steve Tucker and mastered by Maor Applebaum at Maor Applebaum Mastering, and is now confirmed for release via Greyhaze Records on January 21, 2014in North America, with a European release date to be announced in the coming weeks. The album's cover artwork was constructed by Ken Coleman.

The Band :

Steve Tucker | guitar, vocals
Avgvstvs | bass
Armatura | guitars
Deimos | drums

Review :

Steve Tucker, ex of Morbid Angel fame is back with Warfather. It is many years now since he left Morbid Angel but if you were waiting for him to return to death metal (Nader Sadek notwithstanding) then this record will please you immensely. Opening as it does with blasting drums- apparently using a snare the size of a can of tuna and recorded in a tiny sound proofed cupboard offset against rumbling toms and clicking bass drums- it is clear that the shadow cast by Formulas Fatal To The Flesh has not yet been outrun. Quite simply this is atonal and brutal death metal.

Whirlwind fast and with odd angular riffing, the record continues at pace with “Legions” with appropriate marching paced chorus section and then swirling lead breaks. “My Queen Shall Not Be Mourned” is again brutal death metal with a fantasy theme. There are some unusual touches here and there with time changes over a lovely lead melody and choral vocals (yes, really) and it is this type of thing which elevates the album above technically proficient but predictable death metal fare.  There is even a kind of blackened quality to the guitar work in places and the drums are expertly handled and very tech-y. Tucker plays guitar here instead of handling bass and he does a very fine job.

The album also has little interludes- a nod to yesteryear, perhaps?- that add to the ebb and flow of the album and allow for a little light amongst the shade. "The Shifting Poles” has an unusual arrangement to it that is stop start and carries lightning fast changes. “Waltz Of The Solstice” swiftly runs through the riffs with again choral vocals in the background- nice touch- before thrash alternates with blast for the verses.

“Ageless Merciless” could actually sum up the album and Tucker's overall sound, but instead it serves a fine title for a another rapid fire slice of death with unusual guitar progressions that make full use of the twin set-up and allow for some excellent  trading. “Gods and Machines” features a very cool opening ascending (and finger twisting) riff before slowing for the verse and then taking off again- naturally. The constant tempo changes are a feature of the record and demonstrate the dexterity that it takes to achieve all those changes and still allow the songs to flow. No mean feat. Superb leads in this one, too.

“Ashes and Runes” is a more straightforward (in its approach, that is) proposition. Fast to slow and back to VERY fast with the drums. Mournful lead work compliments the fury of the verses well. The blasting is top notch on this one- very dexterous indeed.

“We Are The Wolves” is the albums coup de grace and goes for all out aggression. Lots of changes abound, lots of riffs whip up a tempestuous guitar storm while Tucker shreds his throat and goes all out.

Suffice it to say, if you liked Morbid Angel's output with Tucker, if you like DM with lots of changes and if you are a serious death head, then this is for you. If you have only a passing interest in the genre... ease yourself in before listening to this or you will find yourself bewildered! Such is the complexity of what is on offer here. Try and keep up!

Words by : Richard Maw

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