Released: 2002, Atrheia Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
When I heard that guitarist William Tsamis (also Lordian Guard) was reforming the legendary classic metal band Warlord with drummer and founding member Mark Zonder, I was excited to hear new material from the great band. When I heard that Joacim Cans of Hammerfall would be joining the band on vocals, I was less than thrilled. While I can enjoy Joacim’s performance in Hammerfall, I believe that he lacks the edge in his flat voice required for such a band as Warlord. Ever since the beginning of Hammerfall, however, Joacim and the band have maintained a connection to Warlord, from their cover of Warlord’s “Child Of The Damned” on GLORY TO THE BRAVE, followed by Tsamis’ guest appearance on LEGACY OF KINGS. Now, in Rock Star-esque fashion, Joacim Cans gets his chance to appear in his hero’s band.
For those readers who may not know of the greatness of Warlord, they play in the classic style of dark, heavy and melodic metal, and they put out several albums in the early 80s. William Tsamis then went on to form somewhat of a solo project, Lordian Guard, similar in style to Warlord, though not as heavy, and with a female vocalist who has a strong, low, voice, atypical for a woman singer.
RISING OUT OF THE ASHES is a mixed bag of tracks in that five of the nine songs are simply re-recorded versions of old Lordian Guard tracks, and one old Warlord track, plus four new Warlord songs. The tracklisting of this album is as follows, with the original band and album in parenthesis:
Battle Of the Living Dead (Lordian Guard – SINNERS AT THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD)
Enemy Mind (new track)
Invaders (new track)
Winds Of Thor (Lordian Guard – LORDIAN GUARD)
War In Heaven (Lordian Guard – LORDIAN GUARD)
My Name Is Man (Lordian Guard – LORDIAN GUARD)
Lucifer’s Hammer (Warlord – DELIVER US)
Sons Of A Dream (new track)
Achilles’ Revenge (new track)
Musically speaking, Tsamis and Zonder can still hold their ground, and the reworked tracks sound just as good as the originals. Tsamis’ guitarwork is amazing; his style is very passionate, and his solos can be almost hypnotic, and I mean that in a good way. From the new tracks, “Invaders” stands out as the best track on the album, mid to fast-paced, with an awesome, mesmerizing guitar break in the middle. “Sons Of A Dream” is also quite good, proving that Bill Tsamis can still write as well as ever. Regarding the old tracks, my feelings are mixed. I find “Battle Of The Living Dead,” a fast track in the classic power metal fashion, and “War In Heaven,” a dark epic sound great, while “Wings Of Thor” is not as good as the original, and “Lucifer’s Hammer” loses its dark and Apocalyptic feel due to Cans’ delivery.
I am a bit disappointed that more than half of this album consists of re-recorded tracks. While this may serve as a warm-up for the reforming of the band, I would have liked more new songs. As I mentioned previously, Tsamis can still write tracks as good as any classic Warlord tune. Had this been a collection of new songs by any other band, this album would certainly find its way into my Top 10 Album List for this year. While I may have my personal issues with Joacim Cans, this is a solid metal release. This album can serve as a good introduction to this classic band, but I highly recommend that the reader track down the original Warlord and Lordian Guard albums as well.
Official site: http://www.warlord.ws