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01. Slings and Arrows
02. The Cure
03. Red, Black, and Blue
04. Set the Stage MP3
05. Ripped to the Bone
08. War is Hell
10. Scene Celebrity
This is one of the most difficult reviews that I've written for Lambgoat, because it's one of the first where I've felt a conflict of interest. On a personal level, when I don't like a record, then I'm not going to give a great review, because that's all a review is, a writer's opinion. On the other hand, just because I don't like a record, doesn't mean that I can't point out its good aspects. I'm definitely not a fan of "War is Hell," which is The Warriors' debut full-length, but this band has got some good things going on, and that's where I'm going to direct my focus.
I like when hardcore bands inject some sincere creativity into the sound, while still remaining true to the general ideal of hardcore. This is exactly what I feel like The Warriors have done, and they've done it well. Their promotion sheet states their hardcore sound draws influence from Refused, Sick of It All, Cro-Mags, and Inside Out. Well, I'll definitely agree with the Inside Out and Sick of It All references. There are a few other influences going on here, but I can't quite put a finger on them, which is fine with me.
The Warriors' sound crosses over some lines in hardcore, but these guys make their transitions smooth as silk. I can hear some big Sick of It All grooves going on in the majority of the songs, which could also be compared to Madball. Either way, you want to hear it, I'm sure this particular sound makes for a great live show. There are also some more "new-school" hardcore parts in the vein of Hatebreed or Throwdown, which I don't really like, but it never sounds out of place. There are plenty of great sing-a-longs, and two-step grooves for the average hardcore kid to latch onto.
Vocalist, Marshall Licthenwaldt, does draw a good bit of influence from ex-Inside Out vocalist Zach de la Rocha. However, this influence isn't to the point of being a carbon copy. I think his dynamic vocal delivery adds a creative element to this band's sound, which lets you know that, as a vocalist, he's doing something right.
I really enjoy the production of "War is Hell," because everything sounds so massive, but extremely natural. You could tell me these guys just have killer equipment and recorded this album live, and I might believe you. The guitar tones are especially thick and heavy.
Bottom Line: I personally just can't get into this record, but that's just a matter of personal taste. I think a bigger fan of hardcore than myself would enjoy the different, and creative aspects that The Warriors bring to their sound. No matter if you get into this band or not, you should be able to appreciate the fact that they are making a great effort to keep hardcore from going stagnant.
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