Warbringer – Waking Into Nightmares (Century Media Records)

Saturday, 16th March 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

Growing up in the original thrash wave of the mid to late 1980’s, I’m happy to see a return thanks to the second generation of fans who desire to keep the energy, the spirit and vitality of the movement alive.

Hailing from California, Warbringer blaze across the world with their incessant tour schedule, putting in time with opening slots for Exodus, Kreator, and Soilwork among others. Hard to believe they squeeze in between the shows enough rehearsals and composure to write and record a new album during their break, yet they show with their second album, Waking Into Nightmares that this quartet will be a force through the coming decade.

Waking Into Nightmares benefits from a robust, thick guitar attack and sharp punch courtesy of producer Gary Holt [Exodus]. John Kevill rips his larynx apart much like an acidic death meets Tom Araya mix on winning tracks such as “Jackal” and “Prey for Death.” The expansion of their thrash base comes into play on “Nightmare Anatomy” where newest acquisition Nic Ritter along with bassist Ben Bennett instrumentally show a flair for an airy progressive dynamic with their off time hand, finger and feet display.

Musically, the band prefer the latter edge of thrash and almost death period of the late 80’s/ early 90’s, as you can hear reference points to Dark Angel, Demolition Hammer and Viking especially during their mach train excursions such as “Shadow from the Tomb” and “Living in a Whirlwind.”

Sure, the gang choruses can be a tad derivative, possibly paying homage to Exodus, but I believe the compact songwriting and attention to delivery outweighs any negatives. You’ll get another slew of chances to see them on the road, this time opening for heavyweights like Obituary and Vader through the end of the year. Waking Into Nightmares proves Warbringer will not be one of the groups jumping onto the next trend – they’ll be at the forefront and seeking headlining opportunities before you know it.

www.myspace.com/warbringer

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)