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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GENOCIDE SHRINES Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil: Scriptures of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder

Album · 2015 · War Metal
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Sri Lanka is one of those places that dates back to prehistoric settlements as far back as 125,000 years ago and a major player in the development of Buddhism yet most will only recognize this small nation as the teardrop on the map flowing from India’s southernmost tip. Plagued by internal conflicts and corruption since independence in 1946, this nation has also produced some extremely hostile revolutionary groups so given all this history it’s no wonder that Sri Lanka has also emerged as a center of underground extreme metal with GENOCIDE SHRINES from the capital city Colombo having become one of the better known of these fast-paced apocalyptic musical madness acts. Half the members are also in Manifestator.

Formed in 2011 the band jumped onto the war metal bandwagon and features Tridenterrorcult [Chathuranga Fonseka] (vocals), BlasphemousWarGoat [Kasun Nawarathne] (drums), NarkotikPerversor (guitar), Khaoshiva (bass) and Naga Yakka [Joseph De Alwis] (guitar). With an EP, spit and couple live albums under its belt, the 2015 album MANIPURA IMPERIAL DEATHEVOKOVIL: SCRIPTURES OF REVERSED PURAANA DHARMURDER is so far the only full-length. Bogged down with a syllable-rich title, so too do the tracks engage in excess verbiage with exuberant titles such as "Hurl Burning Spears to Exhume the Raavanic Throne of Sivvhela Retaliation.”

The entire point of this album is to create a pummeling claustrophobic rampage through sound. While the blackened death metal / war metal style is predominant, the band occasional employs indigenous tribal sounds, chanting and slower moments of death doom metal. In a nation of incessant street protests. political unrest, extreme poverty, tsunamis, ponzi schemes and every other form of oppression under the sun, GENOCIDE SHRINES evokes the zeitgeist of a nation that although primarily Buddhist by day, nurtures a dark time bomb effect behind the scenes that can erupt into extreme violence when the final straw breaks the proverbial camel’s back. MANIPURA IMPERIAL offers the perfect soundtrack to a land that has been utterly raped and pillaged by the oppressing colonial forces that continue to the present.

This is a riff-laden affair and follows the playbook of classic war metal acts ranging from Blasphemy and Beherit but takes things into a more aggressive and caustic arena as do many more modern examples of war metal. On the surface most war metal may come off as sounding pretty much the same so it’s imperative to dig a bit deeper to savor the underlying flavors. In the case of GENOCIDE SHRINES the secret ingredient is clearly the local folk flavors in the form of rhythmic flow and occasional appearances in the sun (usually as intros). Blastbeats are fortified with heavy cymbal action, jittery jazzy drumming techniques and percussive sweeps. Aggressive animal vocals, the norm in war metal is pretty much the same here.

The guitar and bass are highly distorted and for the most part form a unifying muddy effect often indistinguishable taking a cue from the world of black metal. The production offers a suffocating claustrophobic effect that leaves the listener little time to catch a breath amongst all the chaos but the album is well paced and offers moments of respite from the bestial bantering of the incessant guitar chugs, percussive truculence and bloodthirsty savagery of the anguished lyrical deliveries. War metal is an ugly beast and by its very nature will only appeal to a niche audience. The overall mix of death and black metal is fairly balanced here as GENOCIDE SHRINES utilizes the technical wizardry of death metal without sacrificing the overall mood setting bleakness of a black metal album. Reading various reviews i wasn’t expecting to like this one but it seems many miss the underlying Eastern elements that are buried beneath the mix. Oh well to each their own. I think this is excellent!

ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE Purifying Blade

Album · 2021 · War Metal
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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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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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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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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.

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