Album Title: The Declaration
Label: Dissident Records
This is the first full-length album from Warmarch, a Canadian band playing chaotic black/death metal.
The sound on this record is very well-balanced. The vocals are up front in the mix, and run the gamut from throaty roars to squeals, screams, and other animalistic noises. Beneath them, the sharp guitar tone and crisp, snappy drums mark out a counterpoint, while the audible bass adds plenty of heft.
The songs on "The Declaration" are packed with frantic, memorable riffs and plenty of tempo changes. Many of these songs go from all-out blasting to a doom break and back, all within the space of thirty seconds. Fortunately, Warmarch are adept at using common themes to tie everything together. The vocals also go a long way toward building the mood, and have got to be heard to be believed -- the amount of ferocity and guttural power they conjure is impressive, especially since they're completely atypical. Some of these songs sound like Kressman has to be just about killing himself in the studio! The guitar work is equally great. There are more great guitar lines in just one of these songs than in most bands' entire albums. The band does an excellent job of balancing the chaotic with the melodic, maximizing extremity while keeping the listener's interest throughout. The jangling bass work is also nice, especially on "Bound By Sleep" and "Fires of Id".
The three re-recorded demo tracks really show this band's progression: they're tighter, leaner, and just plain better than they were on the demo. They fit very well with the rest of the album, too, and provide a bit of a break from the more complex mood of the newer songs. The result is an album of great power and impressive listenability, one of the best of 2007.
This band shares members with some of Canada's best metal bands: Paulus Kressman was in Sacramentary Abolishment and Rites of Thy Degringolade, and D. Relf played in Disciples of Power. Fans of both will find a lot to like here, as will followers of Revenge, Axis of Advance, Order From Chaos, and Spearhead (UK). Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Warmarch", "The Declaration", "Elders Gate"