Saturday, June 19, 2010

Initial Impressions: Warbeast: Krush the Enemy

Well I mentioned this band in passing yesterday. I snatched this album up as soon as I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I am a fan of Phil Anselmo's material, from his days as vocalist of Pantera, to Down, even to his guitar work in Necrophagia. When I read an interview and he began talking about his label and one of his major projects, Warbeast, I was intrigued. When I found out they were made up of members of Rigor Mortis and Gammacide, that pretty much did it for me. So this was an album I was eagerly anticipating. I could not believe I found it at Hastings when I have not been able to find several big name releases there.

Warbeast is made up of members of a couple of very deep underground thrash metal bands that really did not make it far into the 1990's. All of the members formed in 2006 under the name Texas Metal Alliance which recently changed its name to Warbeast. As you can tell, this band is from Texas, as are all of its members, as well as Phil Anselmo, the producer and label head. This must be why he's pushing this band so much.

This is absolutely filthy, dirty thrash metal that feels like being in a hot, dingy bar watching five guys with true love for their craft, thrashing around the stage. It sounds alcohol-fueled and seedy. The riffs are raw and explosive. They are straightforward, fairly simple riffs, nothing technical. But they are never dull and are extremely catchy. The vocals are delivered in a harsh bark that commands the listener to pay attention. The band has a take-no-prisoners approach to thrash metal that is not seen in many of today's bands. Perhaps that's because these guys have been at it for so long now that they were playing when some of today's bands weren't even born. I'm looking at you Warbringer and Mantic Ritual.

I am extremely impressed with this album. It will easily be a contender for my Top 10 albums list. Strongly recommended for anyone looking for some harsh thrash metal circa 1989.

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