Warbeast – Destroy (Housecore Records)Thursday, 20th June 2013
Sophomore releases can make or break a band and I thank the metal gods above that Warbeast do not disappoint with Destroy. The raw and viciousness of their self-titled debut in 2010 took many by surprise and thanks to Phil Anselmo, the band was signed to his Housecore Records label. Said debut featured some crushing metal and produced a flawless thrash album in the process.
Right from the start, the short instrumental “Cryogenic Thawhout” recalls the heyday of Bay Area thrash and it’s just for starters. Once you get passed that, it’s time to experience a relentless journey through the thrash spectrum, beginning with the chugging intensity of “Nightmares in the Sky.” Vocalist Bruce Corbitt sounds absolutely rabid, barking through his lyrics at a torrid pace. There is a slight Anthrax vibe to be found here and elements of crossover punk seep into many of the tracks that follow.
The speed and intensity ramp up on “Egotistical Bastard” and the crossover elements come out in spades on “Nobody” and “The Day of…” bears some resemblance to early Corrosion of Conformity and Among the Living-era Anthrax. The crossover elements are firmed up halfway through and it certainly affords the tandem of Scott Shelby and Bobby Tillotson a chance to spit out a series of intelligent and complex riffs as a result. Just wait until you hear the pair tear it up on “War of the Worlds” and you will see how militaristic they can sound when the riffs begin to pummel the listener with a punishing assault.
For a thrash record though, there are some unusual song structures and unexpected rhythm changes that help to make the record sound a bit more sophisticated. Unfortunately, no matter how hard the band tries to create original thrash there are just too many nods to the past. It’s hard in this day and age to come up with thrash that isn’t dated or getting labeled as a mere retro-thrash act. Despite that, Destroy is one fine slab of thrash metal and deserves much love.