‘Top 50 Albums Of 2013’ Countdown – #17: Warbringer – IV: Empires Collapse

By Andrew Bansal

Southern California thrash tyrants Warbringer released their fourth studio album ‘IV: Empires Collapse’ earlier this year via Century Media Records. They’re a band notorious for doing relentless amounts of touring in the past few years, but with this album they’ve proved that the ritual of live performance night after night has turned them into markedly better musicians and their raised level of maturity is clearly evident upon listening to this new album, which builds upon what the band has done in the past and explores new, unconquered territories in terms of the musical style. This 41-minute set of 11 tunes is dynamic to the extent that on one end of the spectrum it has guitar melodies and rhythm sections akin to a blackened variety of thrash metal, and on the opposite side of it, the album treats listeners with beer-fueled, foot-stomping crossover punk-laden tunes like ‘Iron City’ and ‘One Dimension’. To coincide with the album’s late October release date they did a North American tour supporting Kreator and Overkill, and it made absolutely perfect sense because this album of theirs successfully captures and combines the Teutonic and American styles of thrash. From ‘Horizon’ to ‘The Towers Of The Serpent’, every tune is distinct in its own right, and lyrically, vocalist John Kevill has managed to cater to the individual needs of every song. Lines like ‘Hey man, that ain’t no solution!’ and ‘We’re going to play it loud and drink some shitty beer!’ would be unimaginable in Warbringer’s past albums, all three of which were certainly a more conscious nod to the serious, dark variant of thrash, but on songs like One Dimension and Iron City, those lyrics are a perfect fit. Throughout this album, the guitar work is fantastic, the rhythm section is brilliant, and vocally, Kevill is one of the very few thrash singers who’ve been able to develop a distinct style of enunciation which makes his voice unique, and he’s done that to a greater extent on this album. Warbringer’s newest effort is a must-have for all thrash lovers.

Track Listing:
1. Horizon
2. The Turning Of The Gears
3. One Dimension
4. Hunter-Seeker
5. Black Sun, Black Moon
6. Scars Remain
7. Dying Light
8. Iron City
9. Leviathan
10. Off With Their Heads!
11. Towers Of The Serpent

Duration: 41.4 minutes

Visit Warbringer on the web:

The countdown so far …
#50. Nails – Abandon All Life
#49. American Sharks – Self-Titled
#48. Hatebreed – The Divinity Of Purpose
#47. Helen Money – Arriving Angels
#46. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Mind Control
#45. Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen
#44. Church Of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum
#43. Wolvserpent – Perigaea Antahkarana
#42. Djinn And Miskatonic – Forever In The Realm
#41. Czar – No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive 
#40. Against The Grain – Surrounded By Snakes
#39. Nekrofilth – Devil’s Breath
#38. Kylesa – Ultraviolet
#37. The Devil’s Blood – III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars
#36. Kadavar – Abra Kadavar
#35. Purson – The Circle And The Blue Door
#34. Carousel – Jeweler’s Daughter
#33. Kvelertak – Meir
#32. SpiralArms – Freedom
#31. Satan – Life Sentence
#30. Exhumed – Necrocracy
#29. Havok – Unnatural Selection
#28. Mothership – Self-Titled
#27. UDO – Steelhammer
#26. Ramming Speed – Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die
#25. Revocation – Self-Titled 
#24. Gorguts – Colored Sands
#23. Kobra And The Lotus – Self-Titled 
#22. Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry Of Consciousness
#21. Saxon – Sacrifice 
#20. Noctum – Final Sacrifice
#19. Intronaut – Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)
#18. Scale The Summit – The Migration
#17. Warbringer – IV: Empires Collapse 

Check out #16 here.