After numerous lineup changes and a seemingly inevitable breakup, Warbringer have returned stronger than ever before. Their fifth album, Woe to the Vanquished, is a steady stream of blisteringly fast thrash that builds on the progressive experimentation found on their last album.
The band have refined their experimentation with elements of death and progressive metal, making them sound much more seamless than before. Their brand of Slayer-worshipping thrash metal crosses into flurries of blast beats and melodic guitar lines while staying true to their roots. "Shellfire," for one, sounds closer to a band covering a classic death metal track than the throwback thrash Warbringer have become known for.
While the hints of experimentation are a refreshing addition to their sound, this wouldn't be a Warbringer album without a barrage of speedy riffs and chaotic solos. Tracks such as "Silhouettes: and "Descending Blade" are full-speed assaults on the listener's ears, fully incorporating all of the classic components of thrash metal.
Singer John Kevill's vocal delivery on this album shows a great amount of improvement and range. His Judas Priest-like shrieks have become much more fierce, and his mid-range vocals sound rejuvenated since their last album. On "Spectral Asylum," he incorporates an almost guttural low that is a welcome addition to his already-diverse range.
Woe to the Vanquished is necessary for any thrash metal fan. The album uses all of the building blocks of thrash while offering some new elements, making this the band's best release yet. (Napalm)