War Metal

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War Metal, also known as Bestial Black Metal, is a style of metal music that fuses elements of black metal and death metal, but is considered district from more traditional black/death metal fusions and blackened death metal sounds. Though considered a sub-genre of black metal, the genre does draw extensively from death metal as well, with death metal style growling being a prominent feature of the style, compared to other types of black metal which favour a more raspy style. This can often lead to misidentification of war metal bands, especially since the style also eschews many of the black metal genre's other typical traits, such as trebly tremolo picked guitar playing, which is often replaced by fast, down-tuned power crowds. The production sound of war metal tends to come across as muddy and chaotic, rather than cold and atmospheric.

Canada's Blasphemy are commonly considered to be the first band to truly play the genre known as war metal. Other reasonably known names in the field include Archgoat and Morbosidad. The genre remains, however, a very niche style that few play and even fewer can claim familiarity with.

War metal can also draw on grindcore, especially in regard to playing speed and the tendency for artists to write short songs, with many war metal albums clocking in at under forty or even thirty minutes. Though not as associated with grindcore as it is death metal, some artists have been credited for fusing war metal and grindcore together, such as Revenge from Canada.

The name of the genre comes from the prevalent themes of war and nuclear holocaust that artists of the genre use, though like with any style of metal war metal bands can cover any kind of subject matter and in this respect the more accurate name for the style is actually Bestial Black Metal. However War Metal is the name more commonly used and as such is the name displayed on Metal Music Archives.

- Style definition written by adg211288.

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ARCHGOAT The Light-Devouring Darkness Album Cover The Light-Devouring Darkness
ARCHGOAT
4.20 | 6 ratings
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BLASPHEMY Gods of War Album Cover Gods of War
BLASPHEMY
4.10 | 6 ratings
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TEITANBLOOD Death Album Cover Death
TEITANBLOOD
4.17 | 3 ratings
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WEREGOAT Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornification Album Cover Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornification
WEREGOAT
4.14 | 3 ratings
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WEREGOAT Unholy Exaltation of Fullmoon Perversity Album Cover Unholy Exaltation of Fullmoon Perversity
WEREGOAT
3.73 | 3 ratings
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ARCHGOAT Whore of Bethlehem Album Cover Whore of Bethlehem
ARCHGOAT
3.67 | 10 ratings
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ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE Purifying Blade

Album · 2021 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Something about the US state of Virginia where Christian religious zealotry has been a tradition since the days of Jamestown. This original colony state seems to have unleashed a vehement backlash that has taken myriad forms. In the world of music, Virginia has more than produced its share of iconic metal bands to keep the rebellious spirit alive whether it be the theatrical displays of Gwar, the thunderous crossover thrash of Municipal Waste or the parody death metal mayhem of Cannabis Corpse. Here’s another band hailing from the Old Dominion state. ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE or simply A.S.M. hails from Richmond, the same capital city that spawned the wrath of Lamb of God, another blatantly anti-Christian noisemaking outfit that fittingly began its career as Burn The Priest.

Unlike that Lambsters, this war metal / blackened death metal band consists of only two members, namely Scott Bartley on drums and Ryan Zell on guitars and vocals. There seems to be no bass and if there is it’s buried so deep in the cacophonous mix that it’s virtually impossible to detect. This duo started in 2016 and released “Schism Perpretration” in 2019. PURIFYING BLADE is this artist’s second offering and takes the simple “lay all things to siege” approach with a bombastic display of sonic slaying and blood-spilling symbology in its 29-minute wake. PURIFYING BLADE is one of those no nonsense albums that finds comfort in its one-dimensionality where thunderous percussive blasts are accompanied by murky muddied guitar riffs. Zell’s vocals exist somewhere between guttural death growls and raspy black metal torture cell screams.

Needless to say, nothing on PURIFYING BLADE is anything out of the ordinary in the now well-established camp of war metal. Satanic sieging of Christian lands with heads flying off in every direction is the theme of the day here all accompanied by a boisterous romp of muddy metal madness. From war metal standards, A.S.M. checks off all the boxes for sure but in its dramatic attempt to sound louder than Satan himself fails to offer any glimpse of creativity which beckons repeated listens. By now the war metal game has reached much higher grounds with bands like Teitanblood, Archgoat and Diocletian, just to name a few taking war metal into the realms of the most technically gifted death metal bands. A.S.M. has not reached such heights and as a consequence finds the band resorting to slower passages with simple sludge metal drumming and monotonous one-trick pony guitar savagery.

It seems that this duo is more concerned about imagery than musical content since their photos oft depict them as gun-toting angst-ridden youngsters ready to cause trouble wherever they may find themselves. Well that’s all and good but the music is where it counts for me and A.S.M. doesn’t have much to deliver beyond the generic underbelly of noisy and chaotic war metal by the numbers. War metal is one of those metal subgenres that has a limiting factor thus forcing artists to find subtle ways of allowing the creative process to unfold. In the case of A.S.M. they seem content to just make a bunch of noise and strike a pose for photo ops. Nothing wrong with that of course but as far as the music is concerned, been there, done that and moved on. In short, this is a rather uninteresting slice of war metal that fails to inspire anything relevant beyond that which has been done and better. Meh.

GOATPENIS Inhumanization

Album · 2004 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
You gotta love Brazil and Latin America in general when it comes to extreme metal. They have absolutely no fucks left to give when it comes to taking the shock value to even more shocking bang for yer buck territory and even though they more often than not are following in the footsteps of their European or Norther American counterparts, once in a while a band comes along that stands out in the crowded mosh pit.

Take for example GOATPENIS which sounds pretty cliche as far as war metal bands go by today’s standards but this band from Blumenau, Brazil was actually one of the very first war metal bands to come out of Brazil along with Impurity having adopted the GOATPENIS name as far back as 1991 and existed as Suppurated Fetus from 1988 up to the name change. So we’re clearly not talking about a band that just suddenly jumped on the shock yer grandma bandwagon.

The band released a series of EPs and demos all throughout the 1990s incrementally taking them out of the deathcore / grind world of caustic metal to the more refined and musically adept world of war metal. INHUMANIZATION was the first full-length album but didn’t hit the world until 2004 a lengthy thirteen years after GOATPENIS spewed its foul semen onto an unsuspecting world. By this point the band was a well-oiled war metal machine with all the attitudes of the genre that one would expect.

War metal pretty delivers the expected results with most bands sounding identical to the undiscerning ear. GOATPENIS is no exception to this rule. War metal by definition is a caustic mix of evil as fuck sounding black metal with the musical dexterity of death metal and that’s exactly what you get with INHUMANIZATION. Described as sounding something as an answer to Canada’s Revenge with more tremolos, GOATPENIS’ also took a clue from Pig Destroyer in how to craft an album that offers contrast rather than the incessant flow of buzzsaw guitars, blastbeat fury and snarling guttural growls.

INHUMANIZATION, in its 31-minute wake of sonic destruction does indeed offer all the standard war metal traits in full abundance but differs from many other war metal bands by starting the tracks off with sound clips from various sources. The opening “Byochemical Annihilation” begins for example with an eerie sample of an old military promotional video promoting the test explosion of a hydrogen bomb before the grunt-rich metal madness begins. As the metal progresses it is also a treat that the tracks actually have variations and are not of the cookie cutter variety that many a war metal album has been guilty of .

The GOATPENIS debut is quite satisfying as it features a ridiculously heavy distorted guitar tone and exciting drum rolls outside fo the machine gun blastbeat norm of war metal. I think what sells me on this band is the distinguished vocal style of Schulz who can actually sing in a grunted style and captures a more comprehensive range than the average guttural growler. And best of all the music itself features interesting songwriting styles which transcend the oft monotonous nature of war metal.

War metal is of course an acquired taste reserved for those who crave some of the most extreme sounds to emerge from the molten metal universe and in that regard GOATPENIS delivers with a vengeance. INHUMANIZATION exhibits a filthy raw production and a fiery display of musical competence that retains its humble garage rock origins. For my tastes, war metal is often too much of a one trick pony but there are a few bands that stand out here and there and of course when it comes to this style of music, the differences are subtle. While i wouldn’t call GOATPENIS’ debut a classic by any means, it sure is a nice explosive even cathartic listening experience for those times when you just wan to say fuck it all to hell!

BLASPHEMY Fallen Angel of Doom....

Album · 1990 · War Metal
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SilentScream213
Blasphemy released the first War Metal album in 1990 by mixing Black Metal’s thin production and dissonant riffing with mid tempo sections of meaty Death Metal and deeper growls akin to the later genre. Aside from the invention of a new subgenre, it’s really nothing special. The music is fine quality with some great riffs and impressive solos, the production is quite awful with drums obscuring most of it at times, and the whole package is relatively average.

It’s unfortunate how low the guitars are in the mix. I feel that with a better production job this album could be great, but the riffing here is about as audible as bass on a Grindcore album. An enjoyable album for a pure bestial mess of aggression, but no masterpiece.

SHIT WIZARD Semonic Death Brew Chugfuxion Sewer Beeritual of Doomhell​.​.​.

Demo · 2012 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
SHIT WIZARD! A band name that just rolls off the tongue like a dog turd that Divine just ate in a 70s hi camp film. This band originated in San Clemente, CA in 2006 and adopted one of those DIY lo-fi approaches. Consisting of drummer / vocalist Shaytanic and vocalist / guitarist / bassist Shit Wizard, this duo has summoned four spawns from hell in the form of two EPs and two albums but all are classified as demos to evoke that garage band approach.

SEMONIC DEATH BREW CHUGFUXION SEWER BEERITUAL OF DOOMHELL… came out the same year as “Shit Metal” in 2012 and i’m not entirely sure which is considered the debut but when music is this shitty, i don’t really care to investigate that deeply. SHIT WIZARD music is basically a hybrid of war metal aesthetics and thrash metal riffing. While pretending to fit into the same leagues of war metal bands like Blasphemy, Teitanblood, Archgoat and other death / black metal hybrids, SHIT WIZARD is basically a one-trick pony.

As evidenced by the ridiculous release title, this project relies on ridiculous and irony to get your attention but in the end has no talent to actually entertain you. With track titles like “Goat Anus,” “Satan’s Pussy,” “Vomit Possessed” and “Communion of Cum,” you’d expect this to be some kind of parody metal but the listening experience is more painful than hilarious. With ten tracks that race past the 14 minute mark, these cookie cutter sewage bombs all reek of sheer stupidity.

These guys have no talent basically. Simple thrash metal riffs and uninspired drumbeats are recorded in as lo-fi production as is possible. Vocals are grunts and echoey screams from beyond the din. The longest tracks are just barely over two minutes long so they are mercifully short. This is just basically a band that uses silly titles to masquerade the pointless noise that it churns out. All i can say is don’t drop out of wizard’s school. This is what you become if you don’t learn how to cast proper spells. SHIT. At least there is truth in advertising for this one.

TRENCH WARFARE Hatred Prayer

Album · 2019 · War Metal
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Coming from the dusty sagebrush scrublands of Midland, TX, the war metal band TRENCH WARFARE debuted its evil as fuck metal in 2015 with the demo “Perversion Warfare” which showed the trio of Tony Goyang Jr (guitar, drum machine), Jay Gorania (vocals) and Kelly Bogues (bass) capable of cranking out some of the noisiest mixes of black and death metal in a pure musical rage. It took four years but the band finally released it’s debut album HATRED PRAYER on the Transcending Obscurity label in 2019 which sees the three tracks on the demo, “Decimate Legions,” “Evil Shall Triumph” and “Blood Cleansing” finally ready for prime time.

Since the demo a new member has joined the unholy ranks with Lee Fisher aka Belgor on drums replacing the rather clumsy sounding drum machine of the demo. HATRED PRAYER is a blasphemous devastating release of blackened death metal churned out like a galloping grindcore garage party gone wild. Basically TRENCH WARFARE delivers a wicked and capable slice of war metal at full rampage fueled with highly caustic distorted guitar riffs and blastbeat bombast on speed but there are a few deviations from that plan. “New Lord” for example shows a slowed down approach which sits somewhere between sludgy doom metal and more caffeinated black however the band doesn’t bode well in this slower mode as the drums are fairly week and it’s obvious that this is a band about playing at full speed.

The album opens with some cinematic sound effects that sound like a laser war is being fought. It reminds me of the early Darkthrone album “A Blaze In The Northern Sky” with a slickly produced sound collage before falling into the depths of lo-fi buzzsaw guitar fueled black metal dissonance and incessant tempo bombast which is the basic modus operendi for the majority of running time with only a few breaks. Like many of these war metal bands the material starts to sound pretty generic in the long haul but at only a 33 minute playing time doesn’t become too stale. The war metal delivery system is on full steam but what really bugs me most are the slower drum parts that sound like some of those unskilled sludge metal styles that just punctuate the beat.

In the end TRENCH WARFARE delivers a competent slice of war metal with a few extra touches but with a legion of similarly minded bands going for the evil jugular, there’s really nothing that stands out on this one that hasn’t been done to death at this point either. If you can’t get enough black metal buzzsaw guitar tones with death metal vocals then this one won’t disappoint but for me it’s the drummer’s oft lazy approach that keeps this from living up to its potential. Kudos for the songwriting though as it’s a bit more abstract and tech fueled than the average war metal band these days. The band is wise to deviate from the monotony of a single tempo but the drumming style isn’t suited for anything other than full fueled rampage mode. Not a bad album and a band that certainly has potential but for my tastes a few too many flaws on HATRED PRAYER.

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