Released: 2016, Greyhaze Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
If THE GREY EMINENCE is an indication of where Steve Tucker’s head is at these days, it’s safe to say that Morbid Angel is back in good hands. The sophomore release from multi-national metallers Warfather, THE GREY EMINENCE delivers the kind of precision grade death metal you’d expect from the guy.
But it wasn’t always that way. Warfather’s ORCHESTRATING THE APOCALYPSE debut was Tucker’s first post-Morbid release, and despite high expectations, it wasn’t greeted particularly warmly. Issues with the production, the songwriting, the general execution of the product, the time of day - seems like everybody had some kind of beef with the album. Tucker seems to have taken all of that feedback to heart, as THE GREY EMINENCE seeks to right the wrongs of the past and put all naysayers to rest. The fact that fellow Morbid Angel alum Erik Rutan helmed the production this time around doesn’t hurt either.
Intentional or not, these new tunes bear a sonic resemblance to FORMULAS FATAL TO THE FLESH; fast, complex, on the offensive and with zero room for bulls#!t. There’s a fair balance of outright jackhammer speed and more temperamental, almost doomy material at times, offering just enough breathing room before the next assault begins. “Order of the Horde” rails out of the gate with riffs upon riffs upon riffs with some decimating blast beats, and “The Dawning Inquisition” has some definite Morbid reek to it, with some resemblance to “Ageless, Still I Am”. But it’s the restrained chug on nuggets like “Judgement, The Hammer” and the title track that hit the hardest. The slow buildup is almost like kinetic energy reaching its breaking point, finally unleashing furious, holy hell upon your eardrums.
There’s not a warning shot to be found across the record, as the band opts for full on take no prisoners, guerilla death metal warfare. THE GREY EMINENCE is a lean, mean death metal machine, and should give Warfather a much deserved critical reset.