Rating:
6.0
Warbringer - IV: Empires Collapse
25 October 2013


01. Horizon
02. The Turning Of The Gears
03. One Dimension
04. Hunter-Seeker
05. Black Sun, Black Moon
06. Scars Remain
07. Dying Light
08. Iron City
09. Leviathan
10. Off With Their Heads!
11. Towers Of The Serpent


Warbringer's last album, Worlds Torn Asunder, was proof that they can still do their warbringing, even when faced with a slightly limp mix-job. IV isn't quite like that. They're still doing their no nonsense, to-the-point shit from at the forefront of the rehash thrash shit, but we get fed it through a post-job that's kinda like the sonic equivalent of a warzone report on Anderson Cooper's show. It feels aimed at people who are clueless about the topic on hand and just want to see some explosions and crying kids.

These guys are sounding good (which was to be expected), but they aren't sounding good, if you get what I mean. It's like, they're playing tightly and what they're doing sounds great from a musicianship view, but everything is sprayed and caked with a pale, orangeish make-up powder. It feels censored, and probably by some big-shot who thinks he knows what's best for the band and what the band's fans want. The (excellent) guitar-work sounds rubbery, the (excellent) vocals are way too high in the mix, the drums sound pillowy, etc.

It really is like having a seasoned war reporter report for CNN. Underneath all the Reality TV jump cutting and general bullshitting, there's a careful, down-to-earth approach to going about as honestly as possible, a fact that's undermined by the production job. CNN is a bad joke, and this album can, at times, feel like one too. I've been in college for 5 years now, I've learned shit you wouldn't believe; I know bad war reporting when I see it, because of my higher education.

It's depressing. Thrash is a go-to genre for high-stakes, high-speeds driving and general no-fucks-to-be-givenness; a bad mix job for a good band could theoretically be like driving a Taurus SHO (Super High Output), a car that's ugly as shit and has bad suspension and the like, but one that has an impeccable engine. It's not like that here. It's like we've been given a Taurus SHO, but one with a speed limiter (at 55mph) and one fashioned with those idiotic automatic seat belts.

IV feels just like that - war reporting for CNN and driving a speed-limited Taurus SHO... I'm disappointed.


Band profile: Warbringer
Album: IV: Empires Collapse


 



Written on 09.12.2013 by
wormdrink414
Wormdrink's real name is George and he works at a convenience store in the Eugene/Springfield area.
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Mattybu - 09.12.2013 at 04:58  
Interesting review, I still definitely need to listen to this one in full. I remember being shocked at how horrible the art work was and then I listened to a few seconds of a song they released before the album and was liking it a lot so decided to turn it off so I could wait for the whole thing. I sure hope it's better than the review suggests although it's from a trustworthy reviewer
MetalDoomMaster - 09.12.2013 at 05:06  
I think the new SHO's look pretty sweet haha, but yeah there's something strangely wrong with this album.
Lit. - 09.12.2013 at 05:31  
Sad, and their last one was so good too.
deadone - 09.12.2013 at 05:53  
Hmmmm....interesting review indeed! Shame indeed.
wormdrink414 - 09.12.2013 at 06:06  
Written by deadone on 09.12.2013 at 05:53

Hmmmm....interesting review indeed! Shame indeed.

Indeed x3, man. Love these guys, but this just isn't a good disc.
BloodJuNkie - 09.12.2013 at 06:20  
Actually I like this album!
psykometal - 09.12.2013 at 10:00  
Written by wormdrink414 on 09.12.2013 at 06:06

theoretically be like driving a Taurus SHO (Super High Output), a car that's ugly as shit and has bad suspension and the like, but one that has an impeccable engine.

Agree with the review, based on what little I have listened to it.

And I LOVE the SHO comparison, I'm probably one of the few readers that will truly understand the comparison. A buddy of mine, from back in high school, had a '94 SHO 5-speed, and that fucker was ugly as sin and did have piss-poor suspension, but man was it a beast. That sumbitch would take off like a bat outta hell, and was super fun to drive on a relatively flat road, in a straight-ish line.

But I do agree with MetalDoomMaster above, the 4th gen SHOs actually look pretty good. Reminds me of the Mercury Marauder - looks like a stylish, luxury sedan, but romps like a sports car.
wormdrink414 - 09.12.2013 at 11:09  
Written by psykometal on 09.12.2013 at 10:00

Agree with the review, based on what little I have listened to it.

And I LOVE the SHO comparison, I'm probably one of the few readers that will truly understand the comparison. A buddy of mine, from back in high school, had a '94 SHO 5-speed, and that fucker was ugly as sin and did have piss-poor suspension, but man was it a beast. That sumbitch would take off like a bat outta hell, and was super fun to drive on a relatively flat road, in a straight-ish line.

But I do agree with MetalDoomMaster above, the 4th gen SHOs actually look pretty good. Reminds me of the Mercury Marauder - looks like a stylish, luxury sedan, but romps like a sports car.

a friend of mine in high school had one from the 90s. remember being at a party and watching him attempt to drive it up a grassy hill. totally useless in a position like that, but also totally useless in a position where there's, you know, elevation and/or curves and stuff. still one of the coolest cars to cruise down a highway in though.
Moosh666 - 09.12.2013 at 11:58  
That was really great way of putting it, I felt the same way, like something was missing....
NikolaFranquelli - 09.12.2013 at 13:15  
I was intrigued by this review and found the album. I discovered a very good, but unusual thrash album. A lot of old rnr licks, tricks and some really old school stuff that I heavent heard in a long while (eg. Hunter Seeker). Interesting album. Way better than what I though it might be. I suppose the reviewer is a young person that needs a bit more "patience".
Troy Killjoy - 09.12.2013 at 15:19  
Ya, this is a really intricate, complex, and challenging listen. I'm really disappointed that the reviewer didn't realize this kind of album necessitates at least a dozen listens before properly judging due to its extremely diverse and envelope-pushing nature. If you read the lyrics you'll realize they actually transcend the confines of thrash while allowing their blatant influences of Pink Floyd, Shpongle, Tool, and The Alan Parsons Project to really take form. You should probably just stop reviewing albums altogether until you learn how to listen to music better.
Cynic Metalhead - 09.12.2013 at 16:46  
Well, record did sound boring and was under performed by talented musicians. That's for sure.

What Troy said has opened up a jewel out of the box. They did try to push up the envelope and dragged in some blatant influences to make this record bit different what "[b]we're used to[\b]". But, fans of WB will still be disappointed of how they all of sudden changed their "thrash theme". They wont give a fuck too.

Warbringer has raised the bar and if at this stage they come out with something new sound of WB, sorry they will lose fans. Obviously, they have tough competitors(all are doing fairly well, not this year!!) so they gotta have to perform up to the mark even if they bring some new elements in.

Its a disappointing record.
MetalDoomMaster - 09.12.2013 at 19:54  
Words of wisdom from the sarcasm master I suspect ^^
Written by psykometal on 09.12.2013 at 10:00

Mercury Marauder

I was always more a fan of the V8 Lincoln LS. Surprising power, looks kinda badass in a reserved way, and doesn't look like a Police Interceptor haha. I also had a friend with a '93 SHO. Getting wheelspin going into second at 40mph is hilarious.
Mattybu - 09.12.2013 at 21:09  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.12.2013 at 15:19

If you read the lyrics you'll realize they actually transcend the confines of thrash while allowing their blatant influences of Pink Floyd, Shpongle, Tool, and The Alan Parsons Project to really take form. You should probably just stop reviewing albums altogether until you learn how to listen to music better.


I thought that the controversial sampling of various Seinfeld commercial break bass riffs was a brilliant touch as well.

for reals though, one thing about thrash is that it puts everything up front. You pretty much know what's going on within the first few minutes of a lot of thrash albums. however, that doesn't mean there isn't room for lasting appeal. based on these comments which are scaring me more and more this album is devoid of the appeal of the previous Warbringer efforts.
Troy Killjoy - 09.12.2013 at 21:16  
Written by Mattybu on 09.12.2013 at 21:09
...this album is devoid of the appeal of the previous Warbringer efforts.

It's devoid of energy, which is quite a glaring issue with this genre. As you said, thrash needs to be aggressive. It's pump-up music, the kind of shit a hard-nosed grinder in the NHL might listen to in the locker room before a big divisional rivalry. When it sounds as saturated and bland as it does on this album, it just comes across as a mockery or a complete lack of motivation. Fans know what this band is capable of, and since they don't have the marquee status of a Metallica or Megadeth to rely on, they won't be so easily forgiven by masses of blind fanboys.
MetalDoomMaster - 09.12.2013 at 21:24  
Same thing happened to Evile between their first and second albums
Mattybu - 09.12.2013 at 21:34  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.12.2013 at 21:16

Written by Mattybu on 09.12.2013 at 21:09
...this album is devoid of the appeal of the previous Warbringer efforts.

It's devoid of energy, which is quite a glaring issue with this genre.


Yep, if there's one thing that will kill a thrash album... The difference between Warbringer and other bands like Metallica and Megadeth though is they haven't really significantly changed their sound much. Looking at their first three albums aside from some maturation in the songwriting department it's basically 3 slabs of rapid fire thrash with increasingly "cleaner" production, which to me isn't necessarily a bad thing. from the sounds of it they continued down that path but may be losing the fire. I imagine if they really fuck up and put a terrible album the fans will come down hard but as long as they keep putting out the bread and butter people will be if nothing else, content.
sbuswell - 10.12.2013 at 02:22  
I like it. It's not their best album, maybe their weakest, but they are very talented and I think this album is good. Not very good, not fair, but good. I'd rate it a 7.0.
K†ulu - 11.12.2013 at 22:58  
I certainly see where you discontent comes from, and the rating is perfectly justified. I would give it a 7 because it grew on me with more listens, and I certainly discovered some great songs in here, like "Hunter-Seeker," "Black Sun, Black Moon," and "Dying Light." Some songs, especially "One Dimension" left me surprised, not in a good way...
Deadmeat - 13.05.2014 at 00:51  
Totally disagree with the review. almost no mentioning on the songs and generally the music. just useless paralelisms. the band is continously evolving and this album has much more of "their own sound". they end up almost every song with an incredible bridge/solo... which appears to be their trademark and it is awesome...!

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