Reviewed: October, 2021
Released: 2021, Steel Gallery
Reviewer: Manos X
Wardrum is a relative new band from Thessaloniki in Greece. They were formed in 2010 and in the 11 years of existence have released a total of 5 albums with MAVERICKS being their latest offering.
Wardrum have one foot rooted in classical heavy metal something that is easily apparent on song structure, general feel of the compositions while the other foot steps on power progressive metal as it was executed in the mid 90’s.
You can find elements from bands like Symphony X (especially in lead guitar and vocals), Angra, Galnerius (definitely check these guys out!!!!) and maybe a lighter touch of Nevermore.
The band’s musicianship is on the highest level possible. With guitarists Kosta Vreto and J. Demian trading impressive leads and riffs like from their arsenal like it’s nothing with the rhythm section drummer Stergios Kourou (also responsible for all lyrics) and Strutter (bass) providing the required backbone.
Wardrum was also known for the amazing vocals of former singer Yannis Papadopoulos (now in Beast in Black) who left the band in 2019. Indeed Yannis is one of these what the fuck guys that can easily make your jaw drop with his ear piercing high notes and with his passionate delivery. His work on the previous three albums from the band proved just that and without a doubt new singer George Margaritopoulos had some really big shoes to fill here.
George sounds like a lighter version of Russel Allen (Symphony X) and quite close to Yannis Papadopoulos’s vocal style but with a slightly lower timbre. Don’t worry the dude can sing and is no shy hitting plenty of high notes and doing crazy vocal harmonies but of course all that wouldn’t mean shit if his phrasing was boring but again George proves that he’s not only a worthy replacement for previous singer but also a new chapter for the future of the band.
Production is really good courtesy of Kosta Vreto with all instruments falling into place without overshadowing one another. However vocals are mixed quite front here. Maybe Wardrum wanted to show their trust on their new singer by showcasing his abilities and they were right to do as his delivery is really really strong. In fact there wasn’t a moment in this album that I missed Yannis’s vocals and that’s an impressive achievement on its own.
I have some objections on how Wardrum are composing and arranging vocals meaning they insist of recording many layers of multiple vocal harmonies. And while yes this may give a lush sound on their music it also forces the vocalist of showcasing his entire spectrum early on so when it’s time of hitting the high notes you kinda already have heard them since they’re everywhere in bridges and choruses of the song. However if you’re into Wardrum’s music this is something you’re probably used to it since they’re doing probably from the 1st album.
Another thing that I’m missing and is a little bit of heaviness and headbanging elements. Maybe a tad of thrashier stuff and less effort in perfecting everything (which in then becomes something like a formula) would stir things up a bit making “Mavericks” more unpredictable.
There’s no doubt that this album is good and has plenty of great music in it. Highly recommend songs like Best of times, Broken pieces, Sands of time also don’t miss your chance of seeing them live if you get the chance in these crazy times since Wardrum definitely delivers the goods all the way.
1. Hunt For Survival
2. Best Of Times
4. Sands Of Time
6. Broken Pieces
7. Μαύρο (Ulreh’s song)
8. No One Believes
9. Raven Days
10. Promised Land
11. Sliver Of Eternity