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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Conquest

The War We Rage

Review by Gary Hill

Brutal metal that has a bit of a range makes up the sound here. I love how there are multiple layers of vocals. The only real problem is that there’s just not enough variety here to really make it for the full length. The disc seems to get a bit redundant at times. The thing is, taken individually there aren’t really any bad songs. It’s just that there isn’t enough change in terms of tempo, ferocity and other factors to make most of these numbers stand out in the course of the album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Coming with Vengeance

Sirens and other sound effects open this. The main sound seems to be a fire truck. Then a metallic flourish brings the track into being. After the intro they fire out into another killer metal riff from there. The vocals come in with a lot of wrath and anger. This is definitely aggressive. It has a bit of modern metal in it, but overall it’s classic old school heavy metal.

Never Forget
Although this is definitely metal, somehow it makes me think of Kiss in terms of some of the hooks here. There are some bits of extreme metal here, too. The riff that drives this is just plain mean.
Tyrant of the New World
As this cut powers into being there’s a Halford-like scream. From there we get a more brutal metal tune that makes me think of Manowar a bit.
Live Free or Die
Again, Manowar is a valid reference point. This is aggressive and brutal. It’s also one of the strongest cuts here. There are some sections in this that make me think of Iron Maiden a bit.
The War We Rage
Brutal thrash makes up this one. It’s the most raw and extreme tune to this point on the set. It’s got a hardcore punk edge to it.
Get off My Back
There are definitely links to old school metal here. That said the rhythm section and the vocals land this more into the brutal newer metal territory. It’s a good song, but the formula is starting to wear a little thin by now. We could use some variety here.
Long Haired Country Boy
The riff that opens this is slower and more of an old school blues groove, but it still has that same metal vibe to it. They fire this out to something that combines almost a Black Oak Arkansas kind of thing with more real metal. This is a bit of variety. Ideally we could have used more change here, but some is better than nothing. There’s a cool old school rock and roll vibe here.
The Wicked
Another brutal metal tune, this is good, but too similar to the rest of the stuff here. There’s just not much to really stand out and make this piece special. The chorus hook is good, though.
Fall from Grace
I like the riff that drives this. The cut feels more in the Manowar territory. It’s a bit of a change and one of the stronger tunes here.
Turn Me Away
Now, this is definitely the variety we needed. It’s more of a power ballad, and feels a bit like Kiss.
Scream for My Life
Extremely heavy and brutal, this suffers a bit from the monolithic nature of much of the album. That’s a shame because it’s one of the better tunes here.
Against All Odds
And here we go again. This brutal metal tune is just about too much. It’s not a bad song, but can’t stand up amongst all this nearly identical music. There’s just nothing special about this one to make it feel at all unique.
Tomorrow's Black
Brutal thrash is the order of business here. This one provides enough variety to make it stand pretty tall. It’s a good way to close the set in style.
 
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