From Seattle's grunge movement to the sunny pop punk of California, there is something magical about the intersection of music and geography. Through sonic output and location, Trail Of Lies are a product of influence from Earth Crisis and company in upstate New York's metal and hardcore fury of the '90s. The band are somewhat of an all-star dynamic themselves, originally incarnated from members of Naysayer and Forfeit, now welcoming past Malfunction and Warhound members to the team.
Like the group's lineup, several of the best instances of W.A.R aren't particularly new. "God of Rage" is an unflawed exhibition of heavy hardcore, full of devastation without crossing the two-minute mark, while "Ultradominance" is a passionate, inspirational choral for the straight-edge lifestyle. Since both songs have been re-recorded, any loose bolts their releases initially yielded are no longer present.
Some moments of W.A.R do feel unripened. The title track acts as a sort-of interlude that could have been a complete composition, while the denser elements of "Run" feel anxiously pieced together. Both hit very hard when all is said and done, although the rest of Trail Of Lies' repertoire has much more consistency.
Guitarist Joseph Davis supplies reverb-chalked leads and incensed backing vocals throughout "Fight For Victory," which showcases the same anthemic songwriting Hatebreed have mastered. The jagged riffing in "Black Mirror" flows without a fork in the road, and the conclusive "drop!" mosh call from vocalist Tom Damiano is a momentous instant.
While W.A.R is not a new generation's Destroy the Machines, Trail of Lies are well on their way to creating something of that stature. (Edgewood Records)