‘Waking Into Nightmares’ is a Thrasher’s Dream Come True

warbringerOver the past few years, metal has been up to something unexpected as the global resurgence of thrash metal has been a surprising one.

Although some of these new bands have been talentless crap and are chock-full of posers doing it for the moment, Warbringer is definitely not one of those bands and proves it with their chaotic sophomore record, “Waking into Nightmares.”

The album starts off with a bang with the song “Jackal.” The technical riffs and brain-bending solos make for a psychotic opener. The album continues to hit you as it nicely ties into its second track, “Living in a Whirlwind,” followed by the incredibly heavy “Severed Reality”- both of which will become classic songs for any thrasher new and old.

Next, follows the meat of the album. Tracks like “Abandoned by Time” and “Prey for Death” stand out with blistering solos, great riffs and vocals. “Prey for Death” has a groovy slow section at the end that gives a nod to Slayer’s 1988 classic “South of Heaven.”

The album also has many surprises, including a groovy wah-driven bass solo during “Prey for Death” as well as the first Warbringer instrumental “Nightmare Anatomy.”

Guitarist John Laux also shares vocal duties in the rifftastic track “Shadow from the Tomb.”

The vocals are mind-blowing too as John Kevill belts out his signature screams throughout the album. You can picture the strange faces and numerous claws he most likely did while singing.

“Nightmares” also features the addition of two new members to the Warbringer lineup with Nic Ritter on drums and Ben Bennett on bass, who do a hell of a job replacing Ryan Bates and Andy Laux. Ritter is a huge step up from Bates as he is more technical and much tighter with his drumming, making the album that much better and Bennett’s tone is more distinct and audible than Laux was on their previous effort, “War Without End.”

These new additions make for a much tighter band as well as a fuller sounding rhythm section.

The album is produced incredibly solid by founding Exodus guitarist and thrash metal god, Gary Holt, at Holt’s own Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Holt and co. seemed to have a clear perspective of their goal as evident in the successful execution of the album which, by the way, beat the crap out of their debut, “War without End.”

The guitars are panned equally well and there is no feedback or any muddiness. The sound is so crisp it’s like comparing a German thrash album to an American one back in the 80s.

However what really drives this album is the rhythm section.  Ritter’s drums are extremely tight and his machine gunner double bass sounds epic. The bass is brought out so flawlessly at the right parts of the songs and is extremely audible

Come again, audible bass? What a concept.

Another great thing about “Nightmares” is that Warbringer has grown and matured as a band on this release from Century Media Records. The songs are not only lyrically enhanced and more meaningful than just killing things, but they are also structured better and have more riffs and solos, which head bangers can agree is definitely a good thing.

The songs are much more technical and the lyrics are a lot less generic than on their previous album “War Without End.”

“Waking into Nightmares” is beyond awesome.

If the band was 20 years younger, this would have been on every metal head’s vinyl list in the 80s.

About Chris Butera 135 Articles
Chris Butera has been absorbed in Heavy Metal since he was 15 years old. He has been playing in bands since 2006 and has interned for extreme music label Earache Records, while writing for Reviewfix.com since its inception and more recently for Examiner.com. When he isn’t doing anything music related he’s probably reading comics or classic books, watching a horror movie or a wrestling match, or pretending to be a dinosaur.

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