Since their formation in 1996,Birmingham based death metallers Warlord UK have weathered a storm which would have finished most bands but Mark White (the only original member left) has not been beaten even though they are now without a major record deal and being made to change their name from Warlord to Warlord UK as there was an American rock band with the same name. Their debut album Maximum Carnage was released via Nuclear Blast to rave reviews but the band split up in 1998,reforming 10yrs later and releasing Evil Within on Copro Records. So 2013 sees Warlord UK with their 3rd and strongest album so far. We Die As One was recently released,self mixed /produced by Mark White,engineered by Pete Williamson and mastered by Smash Rooms. It is available via warlordmerch.co.uk or from warlord-uk.co.uk and also Flying V Records.
If there is such a genre as technical death metal then We Die As One is a worthy addition as its 10 tracks hurtle along with the majesty of Emperor,the ferocity of Napalm Death and the crunch of early Entombed! Gaz Thomas and Daniel Brooks handle the scything guitar work backed up by the pounding drums of Kev Bartlett.
Album opener When Worlds Collide is a haunting 2 minute synth based intro to build up towards Human Inner Core. The bass line intro is taken on by the band which builds and builds until the main riff kicks in interspersed with speed metal guitar flourishes. When the huge chorus kicks in the recording levels must have been in the red! Masses Gather In Masses is the album highlight for me. At 7 minutes long it is a brooding epic bringing to mind a cross between Hell Awaits and Stargazer as its marching beat intro goes into a chugging riff as a single riff takes over to back up a spoken word piece by Mark. The rest of the band take on the riff and the guitars churn when the vocal arrives backed up by banks of heavy synth,beefing up the sound. A light speed breakdown leads up to a crushing chorus as the song ends with restrained twin guitar interplay over a thunderous bass groove followed by more spoken word over a lilting piano.
Insurgents Breed brings to mind the time changes of Fall From Grace by Morbid Angel but Warlord UK sound a lot more angrier as its clubbing riffs,backed with yet more frantic breakdowns raise the bar of the album even further. Strength Defeats Decay rages with Napalm Death intensity as it shifts down a gear midway to a mid paced grind before it ends in a violent thrash out. The synth intro of Last Of Our Legacy is leads to some intense riffing backed by some off the wall drum patterns as the song courses to an end with some Slayer like twin guitar light speed guitar lines and a slower,heavier mid section.
Age Of Extreme is drum driven with intense buzzsaw riffing over probably Mark’s most lung busting vocal on the album. Knights Of The Godless features more spoken word passages to create the mood of this razor riffed thrasher. The title track is next,an uptempo Motorhead type slugger with Mark barking the chorus of “We live,we die,we fight,we kill,we die as one”. The album ends as it began in subdued fashion as closing number Remember Them is 2 minutes of atmospheric,ambient synth and bass over a haunting vocal.
There is a spoken word line in Masses Gather In Masses of “Even the Gods have abandoned us”. Hopefully the music industry will not abandon Warlord UK and give this album a proper release!
Warlord UK band line up :-
Mark White – Vocals/bass guitar.
Gaz Thomas – Guitar.
Daniel Brookes – Guitar.
Kev Bartlett – Drums.
We Die As One track listing :-
When Worlds Collide.
Human Inner Core.
Masses Gather In Masses.
Strength Defeats Decay.
Last Of Our Legacy.
Age Of Extreme.
Kinights Of The Godless.
We Die As One.