A barrage of thrash

The return of 80's thrash has been a breath of fresh air in the stagnant metal-core, screamo, emo dominated metal scene. It has seen some excellent releases namely from Overkill, Exodus, Evile, Savage Messiah and Onslaught. But of course any resurgence is always going to be joined by acts that either have just missed the point of the whole thing, or don't have enough ideas, and signed by record labels jumping onto a potential market to make a quick buck. And let's face it, that's the nature of business, no matter how annoying it is to an art form.

L.A's Warbringer prepare the unleash their debut album, 'War Without End' through Century Media on February 25th. Combing the speed of Slayer, early Anthrax and Sodom, Warbringer really have produced a no-holds-barred, heads down, no nonsense thrash album. It has one white oversized High-Tech boot in the 80s and the other also in the 80s because Warbringer have embraced 80's thrash so much that they haven't added anything new to the scene, instead regurgitating music already spewed out by the likes of Testament and Sacred Reich.

This isn't a bad thing, far from it, an album with a tank laced with fire and crushing bones underneath it's tracks has to have something going for it. Opening track 'Total War' is an awesome slab of metal that has you shouting 'TOTAL WAAAARRRRR!' on first listen. 'Systematic Genocide' follows on nicely incorporating changes in pace and feel without losing any of the intensity. From then on, however, 'War Without End' becomes decidedly patchy. Warbringer tend to rely on their electric pace to get them through songs. 'At The Crack Of Doom' begins slowly with a moody introduction only to get its thrash pants on after only forty-seven seconds. The rest of the album is similar theme with the band quite happy in cranking it up to four hundred beats per minute rather than exploring the other areas of thrash. There's nothing wrong with this method and Warbringer sound very happy keeping it fast and furious, but after six songs the listener's interest starts to wane. It's too much of the same thing and John Kevill's shouting doesn't really help matters. His voice is pretty one-dimensional, and although he has quite a good thrash tone, he only has one note and constantly shouts at it.

The musicianship is pretty good. Ryan Bates is like an energiser bunny behind a drum kit, and some of Adam's and John's solo work is impressive. It's a pity that the band have yet to hit that rich song writing vein. There's certainly potential here, in fact tonnes of it, but they're young and we all have to start somewhere. 'War Without End' is for metal fans who like their thrash fast and uncompromising. For the thrash fans who like a little more to their metal then you'd better keep listening to Evile and Exodus as you'll get little in the way of variation here. This is a band that will grow into something special if given the chance.