Warrior - The Wars Of Gods And Men 2004 Reality Entertainment reviewed by: EC
1. The Wars Of Gods And Men 2. Do It Now 3. Never Live Your Life Again 4. Salvation 5. Three AM Eternal 6. Mars 7. Unseen Forces 8. Hypocrite 9. Naked Aggression 10. Love Above All
Warrior brings us "The Wars Of Gods And Men", the brand new album from this US classic metal band, a group that has delivered monumental albums like "Fighting For The Earth" and "Code Of Life".
I'll be the first to admit I was fired up when I heard that Krokus frontman Marc Storace was going to be behind the mike on this new Warrior effort. I love all things Krokus, with "Headhunter" going to bat lead-off for my all-star metal album lineup. With the keystrokes that delivered the web message, "Storace to sing for Warrior", my wheels started spinning. This was grand news, one of great interest for me, and I soon began my Warrior planning, even going into full Warrior mode a week before this release. I greatly enjoyed their mammoth 2001 assualt known as "Code Of Life", which included studio vocalist Rob Rock on ALL tracks, which was a splendind venture and one quite rewarded by its sales, but I was really looking forward to Storace's take on these new songs. "Code Of Life" was a fantastic attempt at modern power metal, crushing and grooving in one fell swoop, with plenty of power metal overtones ala Savatage and Maiden, and Rob Rock did such a great job with it that I couldn't wait for Storace to take a shot.
Well, "The Wars Of Gods And Men" is a complete failure in my opinion. I'm extremely dissapointed with this effort, finding the tracks not only boring and dull, but almost a liability for this band. I'm not sure what Joe Floyd was thinking to be honest with you.
With the type of guitar tone used on this album, one should expect grinding, ripping doom metal like Cathedral or even Sabbath. This album is downtuned to sound a bit fuzzy and a different type of heavy all together, but this sound is just static to me, not really creating the fresh and polished feel that I generally love. With this type of sound, Warrior should be hellbent for glory, riding a steamroller down Main and grinding bone into ash, but instead we get Warrior on a bicycle, gingerly coasting down Main delivering newspapers. Yeah, its that bad.
Tracks like "Do It Now", "Love Above All" and "Never Live Your Life Again" are simply terrible, not only added for filler, but I swear they are trying to change their audience here. Warrior fans don't want standard pop groove, they want the classic US metal sounds of "Fighting The Earth" and even most recently "Code Of Life", with its modern freshness that captivates the 80s. These songs are just an ugly mess. Think of bad Black Label Society crossed with bad guitar tone, poor songwriting, generic song structure, and a terrible job pushing and pulling the knobs to give this album good production.
With the title track, Storace does his part well. His vocals are fine, not grand by any means, but he does a good job with what he has to work with. But Floyd's musical vision behind Storace's voice is an epic nightmare. This music and Storace's voice just don't mix. It falls dead and flat well before the finish line.
All is not lost thankfully, we do get some thrashing power numbers in "Three AM Eternal" and "Unseen Forces", songs that sound like the Warrior of old. "Naked Aggression" even throws in some classic traditional moments. But its all too little too late by this point. The new creation is just braindead.
This album worked last year with Joe Floyd's run with WWIII's newest record, "When God Turned Away", with the same type of guitar tone and sound used on that album with success, the reason being that vocalist Mandy Lion has a gruff voice, a rowdy back-alley grawl that fits this type of music. Floyd has tried the same thing here with Storace and it just doesn't work.
Lets give some support to Storace, who tried his best to elevate this album.
But even his back isn't strong enough to carry this load.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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