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War Master – Blood Dawn

by Brett Stevens
December 26, 2013 –

warmaster-blood_dawn

War Master attempt to create a new form of the classic death metal and grindcore that defined the underground metal period. Taking their name from a Bolt Thrower song, the band might be expected to sound like that august act, but the truth is more nuanced. War Master make a language of their own from pieces of the past.

This language can be confusing because many of these pieces of the past are recognizable, although never entire songs, so that War Master tend to pair an old riff archetype with a new riff of their own creation, or use song structure or aesthetic ideas but apply them with new forms. As a result, parts of this are immediately recognizable and it takes some moments to mentally integrate the past with the current version of the same form.

On Blood Dawn, a fifteen-minute EP, War Master drop back from their smoothly integrated style for a rougher, catchier and more Swedish death metal version of their sound. Applying the classic Swedish distortion, War Master also rely heavily on the bounding riffs of the first couple Entombed and Grave releases, producing an urgent and jubilantly violent sound.

The result is a new style for War Master that is both more hasty and, by being more raw, a bit more accessible and yet more fanatically old school. This compares favorably to the latest Autopsy which takes a similar approach. Simplified song forms, although not the verse-chorus loops of pop fame, plus catchy riffs like the most compelling heavy metal at high speed, guide these songs to immediate enjoyment.

While Blood Dawn shows this band with new personnel and new strengths, it loses some of what made Pyramid of the Necropolis so powerful, which was its tight-fitting and intricate structures. If history is any guide, War Master will explore this new direction and slowly work it into form so that they can be more articulate with this new — yet older — voice.

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6 comments

  • Lord Mosher

    What I noticed about this mini album is that it’s immediately enjoyable. It is fun. Fun in a way that reminds me of the air guitar I used to play when listening to Like an Ever Flowing Stream by Dismember decades ago!
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    In a way it reminds me of the headbanging moments of Therion’s debut album, particularly the 5th track, A Suburb to Hell.
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    This right here EP folks is the BEST release of this year and, to be totally honest, if it weren’t because of Prozak, I would’ve missed it.

    Reply
  • fenrir

    Random comment on all these reviews. How do we access them again without having to know the exist and searching them through the search function? I know that the reviews section is reserved for albums that “made it”, but there should be another sort of index for all the rest of the reviews written here.
    The other thing is that many of the articles and opinions (which I really enjoy reading) are also not readily available without having to search them with the tool.
    Is this, perhaps, on purpose? haha…

    Reply
    1. Lord Mosher

      Totally agree.
      In fact I once wrote an email to Prozak to suggest he implemented something like this: (http://web.archive.org/web/20030202114855/http://www.anus.com/columns/music/index.html).
      .
      An independent page that compiled all the bands he has reviewed in alphabetical order or even better, by subgenre. Way cooler if there was a link or button that read: “Bands that suck” or “Hipster Metal” with all the flaming reviews of bands that suck; and it should be a big colorful button so that the occasional poser wouldn’t miss it when browsing through the site.
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      Another tasty option would be a flashback banner that would take you to random areas if you click on it, like old articles, reviews or Prozakhistan, for instance.
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      Prozak seems to enjoy (as we all enjoy reading) writing articles about metalcore, nu-metal and hipster metal bands so, it’d be great to have an interactive subgenre page, like the one that lies hidden somewhere on the Anus; with a few upgrades that would give the beginner an audio and visual starting point. You know? Something that would give the fledgling metaller a starting point and it would encourage him/her to follow the Hessian Path instead of the invisible oranges one.
      .
      Sadly, I don’t know how to do that, otherwise I would’ve volunteered to do it a long time ago…

      Reply

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