With a new Cold War heating up against Russia and a trigger-happy Republican in the White House, is it any surprise a quintet like Warbringer has suddenly arrived to remind us why thrash remains vital?
War Without End is a purist's blood-soaked dream. California's Warbringer will blow you away with acid-washed, jean-jacketed thrash metal minus progressive/punk influences. Songs like "Total War" and "Combat Shock" cut to the bone; six-stringers Adam Carroll and John Laux boast the ability to compress a gauntlet of flashy, ferocious riffs into compact structures; and drummer Ryan Bates is more killing machine than man. Vocalist John Kevill, meanwhile, keeps things to a lively yelp, eschewing the constipated death-metal roar. His lyrics are comic-book quality ("The earth plunged into night / It's time for you to fight"), but his obsession with atomic holocaust is consistent--well, except for quirky shark-attack anthem "Beneath the Waves." Submarine-maiming aside, War Without End is endlessly listenable and a very relevant release.