Released: 2013, Century Media
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos
Two years have passed since WORLDS TORN ASUNDER, the third thrilling thrash metal diamond from California’s Warbringer. Far closer to the finished item, IV:EMPIRES COLLAPSE represents an unavoidable validation of the band’s progression. The new way of Thrash Metal lives on! Warbringer; one of the finest and greatest bands of retro thrash metal movement release their new album named IV:EMPIRES COLLAPSE. This album is a striking-sounding thrash attack.
Warbringer manage to be considered by some as the next big contender to the Thrash throne. IV:EMPIRES COLLAPSE is one of the heaviest, most aggressive and best metal releases of the year. The anthemic musicality is as instantly likeable.
It is obvious that the band follows Exodus’s musical paths and Slayer’s type of songwriting style. Warbringer’s has a dogged resistance to the notion of sticking to a single musical formula together with the procession of their music. That ability to be ruthlessly focused and yet impossible to pin down is one of the principal reasons that IV:EMPIRES COLLAPSE will be remembered as one of the best albums of 2013 from any metal genre.
Warbringer’s glorious rough-hewn thrash strength lies in their ability to keep aspects of their thrash metal mash-up equally strong, with scintillating thrashing riffs and harsh screams blending seamlessly into any punk relics all drenched in band’s aggressive lyrics. Warbringer’s growing musical variety (in thrash metal frameworks) and new-found aggressive edge shows a band still sharpening their crowd-pleasing touch while proving their worthiness as true thrash defenders.
The production is mischievously raw but deceptively grandiose, showcasing an esoteric, sonic magpie approach that makes this the most diverse and adventurous record of the band’s career. Another big leap is the guitar work, which explores tone and expression ravenously from the sumptuous to the crushing, from the sparse to the dense, the trudgingly slow to the unrelentingly fast. There is no filler, and as a closer ‘Towers of the Serpent’ rings off, you are left breathless reaching for ‘repeat’. Haters will doubtless deprive themselves once more, but luckily more and more people realise that the band isn't shit and that many thrash empires really are going to collapse after this album.