Last year it was confirmed that Steve Tucker would be returning to Morbid Angel and will be appearing on the band’s next album whenever that is to be released. This year his other band, Warfather, will be releasing a new album in September. One can say that Steve Tucker is keeping quite busy in the extreme music making world these days.
Set for release September 16th, “The Grey Eminence,” is the band’s follow up to their debut release, “Orchestrating the Apocalypse.” I think what helps Warfather stand out amongst the endless sea of similar death metal acts is the production quality on, “The Grey Eminence.” To have a strong sounding album, one needs an exceptional producer in the studio. I was not surprised to see that Erik Rutan, guitarist and singer for Hate Eternal and ex-Morbid Angel guitarist, was the album’s producer. The recording quality throughout the album definitely maintains a solid presence to where the music never loses its aggressive and sharp edge. I especially liked how the guitars were recorded which I believe listeners will notice right away. Also, the drums are recorded exceptionally well to where the intense blast beats deliver that destructive feeling as if the walls around you are crumbling to the ground.
Songwriting is another area on the album that I believe deserves major credit. Yes, the lyrical themes are rather similar to your usual death metal lyrical content about war and how our society is on the verge of collapsing due to the morons who run it. However, the delivery matched with the instrumental compositions adds great emphasis to the lyrics. Again, the songwriting is simply solid on the album and right from the opening track, “Orders of the Horde,” you feel drawn into this massive world of non-stop brutality and musically insanity. The riffs can be extremely quick at times and then slow down for those sinister pinch harmonic breaks like on the song, “Heedless Servant.” That is something I felt sounded similar to Tucker’s time in Morbid Angel, because those slower and dark sounding moments reminded me of certain songs on Morbid Angel’s, “Gateways to Annihilation.” Tracks like, “Headless Men Can No Longer Speak,” and “For Glory or Infamy,” are faster and feature some insane technical moments.
When going through each song I noticed how the band sounds really tight and the music is exciting until the final song, “Fair and Final Warning.” Probably my favorite song on the album, "Fair and Final Warning," begins with a ripping note screaming guitar solo that turns into a crushing attack of old school sounding death metal. I felt like this song had all the right elements and once again reminded me of Steve and Erik's days in Morbid Angel. I tended to prefer the songs on the album that had the more old school quality, which luckily happens to be most of them.
Warfather’s, “The Grey Eminence,” is full of solid death metal music that one can expect on each of the album’s nine tracks. I think the veteran death metal presence that was involved in the creation of this album, helped maintain that consistent sound. Both Erik Rutan and Steve Tucker know a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t work, so I am not surprised that this release sounds strong from start to finish. I really hope that some of the parts I liked on this album find their way onto the new Morbid Angel release. Warfather did a great job with this sophomore release and I recommend the album for fans of death metal that hits hard and leaves a trail of massive devastation behind.
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