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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Warbeast

Krush The Enemy

Review by Mike Korn

If you're familiar with the thrash scene of the early 90's, you'll probably recall the name of “Rigor Mortis”. This Texas based act released a phenomenal debut album and seemed on the verge of big things when suddenly grunge arrived and the whole heavy music scene changed. If you really know your oldschool thrash, you may also remember a band from Texas called Gammacide.

Warbeast is the natural successor to Rigor Mortis and Gammacide. Featuring the distinctive roars of ex - Rigor vocalist Bruce Corbitt, these guys take no prisoners, delivering the same sort of raging rifferama that Rigor Mortis and Gammacide specialized in. There's a kind of rough, bare-knuckle feeling that typifies a lot of Texas metal and Krush The Enemy has that feeling in spades - and why not? The record is produced by none other than Phil Anselmo, a guy who knows a thing or two about metal.

I can't say this is the most original or genre-defining release you'll ever hear, but for heads down no-nonsense metal mayhem, Warbeast delivers the goods Texas-style.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Krush The Enemy

Without a fancy intro or pointless sample, this shakes the dust off the cobwebs right away with a fist-punching thrasher. It's great to hear Bruce Corbitt's unique deep voice again...I can't think of anybody who sounds exactly like him. There's a bit of a Pantera feel to the song, which is understandable considering who produced it and where Warbeast comes from.

Unleashed
This cut dwells in the netherworld between death and thrash metal thanks to some morbid riffs, but it rips all the way through. It strikes me as a mash-up between classic Rigor Mortis and Pantera at its heaviest.
Self Will Run Riot
A thumping bass lick introduces this thuggish track. The groovier side of the band comes to the fore here, as this is not delivered at high thrash velocity but with a lot of authority nonetheless. Guitarists Rick Perry and Scott Shelby get to demonstrate their chops here. 
The Plague At Hand
Texas is a long haul from California's Bay Area, but this song really reminds me of prime Bay Area thrash, like something that might come from Exodus or early Death Angel, including the twin guitar workout in the middle. "Sickened by the ignorance of man/Extinction is the plague at hand".
Blackened Heart
The meaty riffing on this seems almost like traditional power metal boosted up to thrash level and helps to make this one of my favorite tunes here. The songwriting seems to owe more to "classic metal", and the guitar duel between Perry and Shelby is something of which even Priest's Tipton and Downing could approve.
Scorched Earth Policy
This one will slap the taste right out of your mouth, as wrestling announcer Jim Ross might say. The ghost of Rigor Mortis and Gammacide does indeed linger about this all-out orgy of thrash. The tune would seem to be Warbeast's answer to Slayer's "Angel of Death".
Guardian Angel
That Pantera-style twang comes to mind again here. Even the solo has that Dimebag swagger to it. It's an aggressive enough tune, but kind of on the generic side and not one of the album’s stand-outs.
The Controller
This is more like it and emerges as my favorite song here. The riffing is just excellent power-packed headbanging material and again has the feeling of classic metal jacked up to thrash intensity. The fretwork is the best on the whole album...just an extremely well-written metal song!
Stalker
The title here is so appropriate, because the main guitar riff that anchors this does indeed have a "stalking" feel to it. It almost has a Judas Priest texture but rawer and rougher. The lyrics are pretty disturbing; especially if you're of the female variety...they are just what you'd expect from the title. This is another strong ditty!
We Are The Vultures
The album ends with another bruising high speed workout. Again, this is a bit on the average side, but Bruce Corbitt's powerful roars and the general high level of energy keep it from being a waste.
 
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