Warbeast - Enter The Arena

Warbeast - Enter The Arena

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(CD/LP, Housecore Records, 2017)

It goes without saying; sometimes life is a real bitch and throws you a curveball the moment you’re the least expecting it. I mean, WARBEAST are about to drop the bomb-LP “Enter The Arena” and then enter an early retirement due to Bruce Corbitt’s serious health issues. I cannot even describe this as a ‘bittersweet’ experience since I fail to see any sweetness in fighting this ungodly disease. However, watching a fighter not dropping the white towel is a tremendous inspiration and this makes the release of WARBEAST’s swansong even more powerful. Before going any further, I should underline that this is not a ‘feel sorry’ or an ‘out of pity’ album review because WARBEAST have managed to go beyond “Destroy” and created a solid piece of Thrash that guarantees lots of headbanging and moshing.

Contrary to the norm, “Enter The Arena” kicks the door down with the seven minutes long “Centuries Of Poisoned” which goes back to the basics of Thrash but without ‘copying the '80s’ intentions. Even though this is just the band’s third LP, there is lots of confidence in the song-making and it would not be an overstatement to say that this is the trademark WARBEAST sound. I am talking about the insane and in-your-face riffs, the pounding drums (love the almost tribal percussion somewhere in the middle), the dominating bass and Mr. Corbitt’s unique way of growling/singing. Yeah, Bruce sounds aggressive with his occasionally high-pitched growling and screaming, but the lyrics come clear as a sunny day (basically you can understand what he is talking about) and that’s a huge plus for me. Because getting the right words (with the proper articulation) on the side of killer riffs or a pounding / groovy break is the perfect Thrash storm. “Punishment For Gluttony” is the best example for what I am trying to describe, and I will draw your attention to the spoken lyrics part where you feel the anger on Bruce’s performance, while Scott Shelby throws at you a riffs / guitar leads galore which will give your drum ears a really hard time. By the way, extra kudos are in order for the album’s production and mix because it is not the typical ridiculously over-compressed sound; the drums come out natural (love the hi-hat action), the bass has a voice of its own and the guitar are blazing. Speaking of guitars, brace yourself for my immediate favorite “Maze Of The Minotaur” that will knock your socks off with the opening riffs and pounding drums, making you feel that you are being actually hunt down by the actual mythical beast. This is some serious wall-of-death material and I already feel sad that this will not get the live treatment.

Horror movies are a never-ending well of inspiration for WARBEAST, and “Hitchhiker” is exactly this with direct reference to the “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” 1974 film, and in case you missed the news, there is a video coming up with Ed Neal who played the hitchhiker’s role. Talking about movie-inspired songs, then maybe it is appropriate to include “The Scalping” in the list which features with what sounds to me like a scene excerpt just before another Thrash assault begins. The almost (fast) galloping groove, the early SLAYER-esque solo and the fast snare-drum action are the things that every true Thrash-heads will enjoy the most. In case you missed my point about the sound production and mix, then “Conjuration With The Devil” will help you to see / hear what I am talking about; the mid-tempo guitar groove and the way this song is building up the headbanging rhythm section with the bass-guitar being a solid backbone will send shivers down your spine and finding the closest mosh-pit will be next natural thing to do.

There are mixed emotions when dealing with “Enter The Arena” because from one side it’s a solid Thrash piece with absolutely no weak points, and at the same time, it is the album that will drop the curtain for WARBEAST. I hope that visiting this album one will remember the day that Bruce entered the arena and after some serious fighting came out as the ultimate winner, and that, my friends, would be the best way for WARBEAST to retire.

10/10


Links:

www.Warbeasthc.Bandcamp.Com
www.FaceBook.Com/Warbeast1


Tracklist:

01. Centuries Of Poisoned Soil
02. Punishment For Gluttony
03. Orchestration Of Violence
04. Maze Of The Minotaur
05. Hitchhiker
06. Chemicals Consuming
07. Enter The Arena
08. The Scalping
09. Conjuration With The Devil
10. Ancient Hate


Lineup:

Bruce Corbitt - Vocals
Scott Shelby - Guitar
Joe Gonzalez - Drums
Lyric Ferchaud - Bass
Drew Shoup - Guitar