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IV: Empires Collapse
November 2013
Released: 2013, Century Media Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: UK Team

California’s WARBRINGER are one of a select group of thrash bands that sing almost exclusively about war. (Their name is a bit of a giveaway, in case you hadn’t guessed). Since their formation in 2004 and eventual signing to Century Media Records in 2007, they have released three battle-soaked albums: “War Without End” in 2008, “Waking Into Nightmares” in 2009, and 2011’s “Worlds Torn Asunder”. The end of October this year sees them releasing album number four, “IV: Empires Collapse” (on the 28th in Europe and the 29th in the USA). Will it continue along a similar vein, as the title seems to suggest?

The answer is yes...and no. While there are definitely quite a few songs that have captured the ‘epic-y, quite power metal-y modern thrash’ sound of their previous releases, this time they have broadened their lyrical content to rage against politicians, the environment and other modern day pitfalls and concerns. This lyrical expansion is matched by a clear musical progression, too: from the slightly flat, uneven production of their first album, through the addition of more complexity and layering to their sound, this is clearly a band growing in confidence and ability.

Album opener ‘Horizon’ sets the scene accordingly, with its Metallica-esque classical guitar intro and outro bookending quite a massive-sounding tune, all screaming vocals and thrash/power metal chaos. From there, the band throw track after track of modern thrash our way, including such gems as the snarly riffs and thrashy cymbals of ‘One Dimension’, the guttural, staccato vocals and epic flavour of ‘Hunter-Seeker’ (high note klaxon!) and the bass-tastic chugging riff of ‘Dying Light’, with lyrics seemingly coming from Beezelbub himself.

Their influences are pretty clear (a dollop of Metallica, a splash of Sabbath and even a touch of punk, as can be heard on the likes of ‘The Turning of the Gears’ and the fast and furious ‘Off With Their Heads!’). But this is no mere cobbling together of interests to create a headache-inducing mish-mash: in ‘IV...’ WARBRINGER have created a cohesive fireball of an album, full of enough twists and turns to keep even the most discerning of thrash fans happy. The production is concise, the vocals are vociferous and resounding, and the instruments all enjoy equal prominence.

“But what about the ‘war’ in WARBRINGER?”, you ask plaintively? Well, fear not. There is still plenty of combat and strife here for your delectation. It’s just, as modern-day warfare is under constant change, so to WARBRINGER have expanded their definition of what war is. These days you don’t have to be on the battlefield to be at war. And on ‘IV: Empires Collapse’ WARBRINGER have captured that perfectly.

Review by Melanie Brehaut
Track Listing


The Turning of the Gears

One Dimension


Black Sun Black Moon

Iron City


Off With Their Heads!

Towers of the Serpent
Scars Remain

Dying L


John Kevill: vocals
John Laux: guitar
Jeffs Potts: guitar
Ben Mottsman: bass
Carlos Cruz: drums



Next review: » Warbringer - IV: Empires Collapse
Previous review: » Warblade - The Phantom Blaze

IV: Empires Collapse
December 2013
Released: 2013, Century Media
Rating: 4.5/5
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.
Track Listing

1. Horizon
2. The Turning of The Gears
3. One Dimension
4. Hunter-Seeker
5. Black Sun, Black Moon
6. Scars Remain
7. Dying Light
8. Iron City
9. Leviathan
10. Off With Their Heads!
11. Towers of The Serpent


John Kevill – Vocals
John Laux – Guitar
Jeff Potts – Guitar
Ben Mottsman – Bass
Carlos Cruz – Drums

Next review: » Warbringer - One by One the Wicked Fall
Previous review: » Warblade - The Phantom Blaze

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