Warbringer come back for a fourth time with half of the old bandmates of Mantic Ritual—vocalist John Kevill, guitarists Jeff Potts and John Laux, bassist Ben Mottsman and drummer Carlos Cruz—for the strongest lineup of Warbringer yet. Empires Collapse is a real hit-you-in-the-face-with-an-aluminum-baseball-bat wild album. There are some real heavy-hitter tracks throughout the beginning, the middle, and end.
“Horizon” kicks off the full-length with an eerie, horror movie-style intro at the beginning of the track, which less than a minute in, shifts into high gear in typical thrashing fashion. Lyrics like, “Running but the wheel keeps turning faster/Day after day, year after year… ” from “Turning Of The Gears” paint a dark picture of a futile and horrific future. “Scars Remain” has a really fun tempo to it, and keeps the album going as likely the first track on the B-side of the vinyl, while “Iron City” is tremendously exciting, penned by Potts and Mottsman, for their eternal love of the Pittsburgh lager. Classic metal lines like, “We’re turning up the power/Gonna make some heads explode!” could make it into the thrash version of “Night Train.”
“Towers Of The Serpent” closes excellently with the shouts of, “I see the golden age has passed/And the glory days long gone,” cascading drum rhythms and some very fine arpeggios. There are a lot of really entertaining solos in tracks that have a chaotic crescendo pattern like “Turning Of The Gears,” “Black Sun,” “Black Moon,” “Iron City,” “Hunter-Seeker” and “Leviathan.”
In A Word: Explosive