As someone who wasn’t listening to Death Metal in the 90’s, quite a few bands who were putting out amazing works completely escaped me. In 2013 I finally got my brain back and since then this type of metal has been far and away my favorite. So, where am I going with this? Across the pond to the land of WARLORD UK, that’s where! In 1996 they released an eight-song record Maximum Carnage that was unjustly overshadowed at the time. Welp…my good friends over at Transcending Obscurity Classics have seen fit to unearth this unheralded classic on December 31 for our listening pleasure. Reissued in its original quality and with two bonus live tracks along with exclusive liner notes from founder Mark White, this is a disc that was criminally overlooked.
I have listened to this record a bunch of times over the last two days, and each time I do I find something else that just blows me away. Whether it’s the tempo changes, menacing riffs, and grooves of “Nowhere to Run” (definitely the favorite) or the run-right-through-you feel of “Change”, there’s this vibe of asskickery that permeates the whole thing. Opener “Maximum Carnage” leads the way with great vengeance and furious anger while “Disintegration” takes that hammer and swings it down again and again. One thing you will probably notice is that these tunes all sound meaty as all fuck. Every drum hit is like Rocky Balboa punching the meat; you feel it in your gut. I wish every album could be this warm while still maintaining its grit.
“Alien Dictator” utilizes a dual harmonized guitar line and some killer double bass action while getting into this chugging, bone-crushing riff, and White’s vocals are dirty and evil. “Vivisection” is one of the more musically diverse offerings on the disc; it’s still as heavy as the rest, but it has a very interesting start and a couple of breaks that got my juices flowing big-time. Next up is another standout in a slower-paced stalker called “Theatre of Destruction” because, (and it always comes back to this for me), the riff, the fucking riff is stellar throughout. “Race War” really gets going after a minute-long intro, and once it does, it refuses to stop until you’re another victim of the riff machine.
On the bonus side, “Maximum Carnage (Live)” completely eviscerates its studio counterpart, and has me praying that these boys will come to the U.S. sooner rather than later. “The Fucking System (Live)” is another pounder that shows these boys mean business when they step on that stage. All told this is a fucking fantastic album from WARLORD UK, and I can’t thank my friend Kunal Choksi enough for getting me into them. Every Death Metal fan worth his or her salt needs to get Maximum Carnage the minute it’s available wherever you are (like HERE!). Then, grab your friends, get some drinks in, and go wreck shop!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Nowhere to Run”, “Change”, “Vivisection”, “Theatre of Destruction”