Artist: War Master (US)
Album Title: Chapel of the Apocalypse
This is the first demo from War Master, an American band playing grinding death metal.
The production on this demo is quite solid: the guitars are suitably crunchy, with plenty of low-end, the drums are crisp, and the vocalist does a decent impression of Karl Willetts... which is, of course, the point.
This demo serves up three songs which sound much like early Bolt Thrower, with a touch of the more structured approach the masters took on The IVth Crusade. The demo is packed with convincingly grindy guitar work and a few appropriately chaotic solos, plus plenty of great bass work. All's not imitation, though: the swaggering guitar part near the end of "Warplague" is a bit more groovy than Bolt Thrower ever was, for instance, and introduces a touch of the band's own sound into the mix. The opener to "Thrones of Tyranny" also lets the band do something that's almost -- but not quite! -- the famous riff/drum part from "In Battle There Is No Law", "World Eater", and many others... clever idea! I think this is by far the best song on the album, with strong mid-tempo headbanging parts and great old-school feeling. Needs more solos, though!
I've heard better Bolt Thrower style bands -- Sanctum is the best modern band playing in this Realm/Warmaster style, and I'll take West Wall over everything but the original -- but this is a damn solid demo, and should please anyone who wants more of Realm of Chaos and Warmaster. Recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Awake in Darkness/Warplague", "Thrones of Tyranny"