Warbeast- Destroy

Any band that has the support of a metal figurehead like Phil Anselmo is almost guaranteed to reap an array of rewards. Anselmo has taken a shine to Warbeast, the Texas thrashers who recently released a split with Anselmo’s solo project. Their first album, Krush the Enemy, was released on Anselmo’s Housecore Records label, as is Destroy. Destroy, the band’s second album, has Anselmo taking on a role as producer. This isn’t the birth of the new Pantera though; just a low-down, greasy thrash fest that doesn’t so much impress as it engulfs the listener in intensity.

Boy, is this album intense. Warbeast has no qualms about avoiding melody like it is a salad at McDonalds. They aim to punish with their thrash metal, and for the most part, they succeed. No ballads or joyful moods to wade through; darkness and manic thoughts are what await. Vocalist Bruce Corbitt screams about war and nightmares, and doesn’t show concern with technicality or range. He plays the part of a gleeful announcer on the title track and welcomes us to the world’s destruction on “War of the World.”

Whether Anselmo had any influence on the songs themselves, there are glimpses of the groovy thrash metal that defined his career in the ’90s. “Warbeast” and “Nobody” are equipped with chunky riffs that wouldn’t have been out of place two decades ago, and the solos are caustic to a tee. Even for a typical instrumental opener, “Cryogenic Thawout” is crushing suffocation in sonic form. They perform this style with confidence, though it doesn’t always pan out the way they probably intended it to.

Whether due to Anselmo behind the board or lapses in songwriting, a few songs have awkward transitions that feel cut-and-pasted in. “Egotistical Bastard” is most guilty of this transgression, as a face-melting thrash break jolts into the scene with no fluidity. “The Day Of…” is over seven minutes, but with forgettable sampling and drawn-out final minutes, it should have been trimmed down. The longer songs tend to follow this pattern, as if Warbeast couldn’t let go of their babies long enough to give them a proper snip.

There’s a great album somewhere in here, one that could have elevated Warbeast into the thrash stratosphere. Instead, Destroy is a solid, if sometimes overbearing, sophomore effort. The band works efficiently when they stay under five minutes, as they can’t keep the pulse strong for six or seven minutes. Destroy never falters when it comes to a dense volume of heaviness, but it also doesn’t have that one definitive shining moment to raise it to a new level.

Rating: 6.5/10
Label: Housecore Records
Website: http://www.warbeast.org/

By Dan Marsicano

Warbeast

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