Warfather – The Grey Eminence

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On September 16 WARFATHER returns with their new CD The Grey Eminence. The follow-up to debut record Orchestrating the Apocalypse, this disc offers nine tracks of Death Metal, but with a twist. By that I mean the songs can go one way, then veer off in a totally different direction, with complete changes in tempo and tone just like that. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Tucker (MORBID ANGEL), drummer Bryan Bever, and guitarist Jake Koch have decided not to adhere to any of the so-called conventional rules of extreme music, instead opting to do whatever the fuck they feel like. Guess what…it works, and works well.

Legendary Death Metal player and icon Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, ex-MORBID ANGEL) is in the producer’s chair for this one; it’s also the first time he and Tucker have worked together on anything since the MORBID ANGEL classic, 2000’s Gateways to Annihilation. It is a welcome reunion, that’s for sure. Rutan knows how to get the best out of the bands he works with, just ask GOATWHORE, BELPHEGOR, and CANNIBAL CORPSE, all of whom have put out some absolute monsters on his watch. So what can you expect from the WARFATHER tunes? Good question.

For starters, there is a fuck-ton of brutality on this record. Tracks like “For Glory Or Infamy” and “Headless Men Can No Longer Speak” (my favorite for sure!) drop the hammer on you while never once getting too repetitive. Opener “Orders of the Horde” has those twists and turns I alluded to earlier, and then, just past the five-minute mark it drops out, leaving some dark, moody clean guitars to ring out till the last 30 seconds or so before swinging the axe that splits the head one more time. “Judgement, The Hammer” sounds like a hungry beast locked in a crate, just waiting for its next meal of human flesh; it’s dirty and raw, and you’ll love it.

Blast beats and jackhammer guitars are on tap for “The Dawning Inquisition” which is another standout, and one that simply MUST be played live. Tucker sounds positively maniacal here, and the guitar solo is wicked. Crushing guitar tones and movement like a tank division mark “Heedless Servant”, while Bever’s drums really take center stage for “Carnage of the Pious”. “Grey Eminence” has this “We’re gonna knock your dick in the dirt” feel to it, and final track “Fair and Final Warning” opts to throw everything AND the kitchen sink in our direction, and closes the album in much the same way as it began…very heavy, yet unconventional.

At the end of the day WARFATHER have put out one hellacious record. The fact that it’s highly unpredictable only adds another dimension to go with the heaviness and asskickery (shut up, it’s now a word!). Steve Tucker and Erik Rutan working together again after all these years is a match made in heav-I mean, the fires ov Hell. The Grey Eminence will be available through Greyhaze Records, and I strongly advise you to get on this one. In the meantime I’m gonna go throw this one on again and pray to Satan for a tour, preferably one with a Philly date.

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Headless Men Can No Longer Speak”, “Orders of the Horde”, “The Dawning Inquisition”, “Heedless Servant”

RATING: 9.1/10


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