Warship – The Third Wave (Sleaszy Rider Records)Wednesday, 8th November 2023
Hailing from Greece, Warship started in the early 2000’s following the demise of Kokkalo, who released two albums before their dissolution. Evolving at a slow and steady pace, they’ve released two demos and two records independently before signing with Sleaszy Rider Records for this third album, ironically titled The Third Wave. The brilliant artwork from Argentina’s Rodrigo Gudina should set the stage for some classic heavy metal material – and while you’ll get a ton of headbanging riffs/hooks on the musical end, it may be tough sailing to enjoy due to a less than ideal vocal performance throughout.
It’s quite apparent that a lot of the basic chord progressions plus standard mid-tempo anthem templates harken back to that early 80’s traditional, NWOBHM atmosphere – when early Holocaust, Satan, Warlord, or others in that element came to prominence. The addition of keyboards makes “Wake Up” a mid-album standout, working as a push/pull accent to the darker, menacing riffs and pounding drum passages, the lead break firing off some interesting effects next to a memorable melodic undercurrent. Epic/cultural textures also feature themselves in a Running Wild/ Judas Priest fashion in the key musical hooks for “Free Again”, the closing instrumental section between the bass and lead guitar providing that harmonious thrust great classic metal delivers. Where Warship will disappoint most is in the inconsistent, warbly nature to the vocal delivery of guitarist Captain Foris Ntrikos. Outside of the lower unison chant passages, the man has very basic lower to mid-range capabilities, but right away on “The Fall of the Empire” all the way through to the epic “Warship” closer, he fails to be that peak, mountain top voice needed to bring the songs to life.
This scribe applauds the primal instincts present for The Third Wave – too bad Warship can’t cultivate possibly a stronger singer to get their brand of heavy metal to that next level. Precede with caution.