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Warforged - I: Voice review

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Band: Warforged
Album: I: Voice
Release date: May 2019

01. We've Been Here Before
02. Beneath The Forest Floor
03. Cellar
04. Nightfall Came
05. Voice
06. Eat Them While They Sleep
07. Willow
08. Old Friend
09. The Color Of My Memory

Imagine the spacious, tranquil tech death of Fallujah, a slithery, Gorguts-like anti-melody, the alien darkness of Nucleus... well, heck, just dump all your favorite progressive/technical death metal bands into one and you've got an idea of how Warforged sounds.

I'm drawn to many other comparisons, particularly bands such as Augury, Inferi, and fellow newcomers Equipoise - but throwing out names like that draws a metonymic picture of Warforged at best, and then only for the basic elements of sound. From a structural, dynamic perspective, I: Voice has more in common with something like Imperial Triumphant or Muyubyosha: a constant ebb and flow, sweeping from one instrument to many, from atmosphere to aggression, then combining both into swells of florid brutality. One minute you're listening to a rush of colorful progressive death metal gilded with solos and garnished with voluminous growls; the next minute you're listening to a piano gently trickle its way over a rhythm-holding bass crawl.

Even when you think you're safely ensconced in the wild death metal side, the tone is constantly shifting, sometimes shrinking into the icy abyss of space like any of the sci-fi-themed bands mentioned above, sometimes livening up for a luscious and organic blend of warm textures more common to prog. "Voice," the quasi-title track, expresses its theme with disconcerting screams of pain that turn the accompanying heavy riffs into something Lovecraftian, thereby making it a standout, but the inexorable chugging and light flourishes of "Eat Them While They Sleep" put that in contention. Of course, with each of these songs being over six minutes in length, sometimes by a lot, there is a great deal of room to explore multiple sounds and styles on each track, and I could just as easily count "Beneath The Forest Floor" or "Cellar" or "Willow" as a favorite. I: Voice works its way around a whole solar system of sounds and makes good on its potential, like any technical, progressive album that knows what it means to fulfill and not just to impress.

And if none of the above name-dropping was enough to pique your interest, I: Voice is packed to the gills with guest musicians. Most exciting for me are Dallas Toler-Wade (ex-Nile), Poh Hock (ex-Native Construct), and Christian Münzner (Alkaloid, ex-Obscura), but if you've listened to the deathly side of extreme metal in the last ten years, there's somebody here for you to be enthusiastic about. Then again, there already was: Warforged itself. I'm hoping that the "I" in I: Voice implies the eventual existence of a II.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written on 01.07.2019 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 149 users
01.07.2019 - 08:36
Rating: 10
Btw Warforged homies are great! It's easy to catch them on random tech death metal fb group. Also - they're into memes.
01.07.2019 - 10:39
Written by FYA on 01.07.2019 at 08:36

Btw Warforged homies are great! It's easy to catch them on random tech death metal fb group. Also - they're into memes.

Well then send them this review
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
02.07.2019 - 05:56
Rating: 10
Lord Slothrop

This album fires on all cylinders for me. There's something about the mix of atmosphere, tech-death and eclectic instrumentation that rises this above all the others I've heard. Granted, there's a lot I haven't heard yet, but AOTY so far, by far.
03.02.2020 - 13:52
12.04.2020 - 16:25
Rating: 9

The Imperial Triumphant comparison is so spot on.
Leeches everywhere.

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