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The Warriors Beyond The Noise

The Warriors - Beyond The Noise
01. Dice Game
02. I Won't
03. Downbeat
04. Interlude
05. Shadows of Birth
06. To Finally Feel
07. Habitual
08. Awakened
09. Interlude
10. Re-Vital-Eyes
11. Holding Sand
12. And Yet They Say...
13. Outro
2006 Eulogy Recordings

Reviewed by: Kirby Unrest   //   Published: 6/23/2006

A lot of cities and their respective scenes are well known for having a certain sound, and either the bands emerging from said area are going to follow it or not. Of course, there are places like Techachapi, CA, whose most notable achievement to date is the highest rate of teen pregnancies in America. This fairly desolate locale also spawned Diehard Youth, and for some time, this was their only entry into the hardcore area. Then came The Warriors, who have become one of the most unique groups on the extreme music landscape today. Their first album, War Is Hell, meshed youth crew hardcore, hip hop beats, groove heavy rock riffs, and forward thinking lyrics into a bareknuckle, yet passionate record. After touring for nearly two years straight, the band has returned with a new album, Beyond The Noise, which showcases evolution in every sense of the word, while retaining the sound they’re known for. While young both in age as individuals and a group, The Warriors show remarkable maturity and depth in both lyrical content and musical output.

Beginning with "Dice Game," a full throttle tune laden with two step and sing along opportunities, The Warriors waste no time in getting things going, keeping the furious pace with "I Won't" which mixes heavily processed chords, strong drumming, admirable leads, punishing breakdowns and a solid guest spot from Joe Harder (Try Harder, Pressure, etc.). "Downbeat" is the initial single off this album and it's a good choice, really showcasing the band’s influences, such as RATM, 108, Inside out and Trial; needless to say, wig mosh will be in full effect when this tune hits. Corey Williams (Internal Affairs, Carry On) contributes his vox on this one, but this is about the time when anyone who has listened to The Warriors for some time will probably start to realize the difference in vocalist Marshall Lichtenwaldt's range and quality, a major bone of contention for fans and critics alike. In the past, many have said they like The Warriors musically, but could not stand the vocals, stating that they were too high pitched or simply annoying. Personally, I've always enjoyed the vocals, because they are distinctive in a genre filled with clones and monotone barks and screams, yet I can see how many might be turned off by them. Yet, this time around, the vocals are clearer, more streamlined, yet still very unique. I'd suggest to anyone who dismissed their previous efforts due to dislike of the vocals should at least give this effort a try to hear The Warriors’ advances, as it is not just the singing that has improved tenfold. Guitarists Danny Phillips and Javier Zarate have harnessed their instruments even more, wielding their axes with increased proficency, power and grace, while Mike Pricendorfer continues to lay down the low end masterfully, really standing out on this record with parts that deviate from the norm, exploring jazz territory and rock pomp. Meanwhile, Donny Phillips commands his kit here, riding a thin line between chaos and control, with memorable fills and flow.

As the last notes of "Downbeat" fade out, The Warriors move into some experimentation with the first part of a trilogy of instrumental interludes. This one is somewhere in between a KMFDM outake and Nintendo music, with a large dollop of feedback to top things off. I can't say I’m really into it, but it's definitely not the usual or what I was expecting from the band. "Shadows Of Birth" clocks in at 1:39, with a minute of that being dedicated to a thick slab of buildup, before unleashing a whirlwind of harsh/gang vocals, pulsating beats and muscular six string sludge, then dissolving into complete and total disarray. If the often odd interludes don't come as a surprise, "To Finally Feel" will. Part classic Warriors, part straight ahead rock, but with a final portion being unlike anything this band has ever done. A melodic break, a spirited refrain, and then a mix of lilting vocals, spacey guitars, incredible bass work before going off into a half minute jam session. On any given indie rock disc, this would be trite and tame, but on Beyond The Noise it's very exciting and colorful, lending even more life to a record already teeming with it. This is especially good since the next couple of cuts, "Habitual" and "Awakened" are probably the most by-the-book of the album. That's not to say they are bad; just somewhat predictable, which is not a common occurrence here so it kind of deepens the disdain. It never reaches the point where the record is tarnished, but not even the featured guests of Terrence Baker (With A Vengeance) on the former and David Tiano (Final Fight) on the latter really push things as forward. Another interlude arrives, similar to the first one but a bit noiser. A reworking of the first rate "Vital Eyes" (off the War Is Hell Redux) is next up, entitled "Re-Vital-Eyes" and sounds better than ever. I'm glad they decided to include it, a move I'm usually against. "Holding Sand" is really rock and rollish, complete with solos and exiting with smooth rhythm and soul, featuring guests Andy Diehard (With Or Without You) and J.R. Flores (Vagary). Though if there was a track for FM airplay, and I've got to say I'm shocked Eulogy hasn't used it so far, it's "And Yet They Say." There is only one appropriate description for this song: addictive. When I first heard it, I must have ended up replaying it ten times. Catchy riffs, upbeat sound, and a plethora of vocal talents including Jon Gula from Turmoil, Jeremy Palaszewski, Jeff Hershey, Roger Camero (see below) of No Motiv, and Dan Smith from the Dear + Departed. The end comes with the final interlude, which is like a combination of the previous two and probably the best of the bunch.

Lyrically, the album is a personal interperation of Herman Hesses' masterpiece Siddhartha, a reflection on a spiritual journey of examination, discovery and reinvention. Each track tackles individual themes and overlaps the trials and tribulations of life on the road to the reawakening of mind, body and soul. Vibrant imagery and ideals are employed to enforce these ponderings, while the music works to provide an equally harmonious earful. There are many lines I could recite that I find solace in, but others might not. Yet, I am sure that at least some of these cathartic scrawlings will bear some rays of hope or at least solidarity to those listening. The Warriors take the road less traveled on this album and it is evident both through prose and power chords.

Drummer Phillips, who has done layouts for other bands, lends his talents to the latest from his own group, and succeeds yet again. It's complimented by some excellent shots from Morgan McStotts (One Hate!).

The recording from Roger Camero is well done, with superb sound quality; one of the best productions I've heard this year. The grit of the guitars, the thunder of the bass and drums, the volcanic vocals are all interwoven perfectly, allowing the full impact of this record to be felt.

Bottom Line: In the liner notes, the band makes the following statement, a thought, a code, a mantra I've seen The Warriors live by since the day we were introduced. I feel that all the descriptions, praises, and reasons above should make this record a must have and this band a must see, but even if you are skeptical, or just don't agree, The Warriors are one of the few bands I can say truly represent this ideal and it shines through on this record in spades: "At the end of the night, what matters most is not a petty 30 minute block of noise, but the coming together of people and the emotional release it makes possible."

anonymous   posted 1/29/2007 11:47:12 AM
Totally agreed!
The Warriors has been the most creative and most well produced Hardcore of all time.
throwbreedengage10_   posted 12/20/2006 5:56:15 PM
f*cking tight, great hardcore album has a great traditional and moodern ahrdcore sound makes most precoiuse blood look like shit. 9/10.
lifeXinXaXbox_   posted 7/4/2006 5:24:19 PM
This CD is a nu metal record. 0/10. it f*cking sucks.
willis _   posted 6/27/2006 5:05:43 PM
LG jocks every straight up hardcore band abd acts like they are paving a new road.....I have not heard this album...dont wanna hear it...already know what it dsounds like
beard_   posted 6/25/2006 10:33:46 AM
guessed this review before I even clicked. Lambgoat needs to find someone who doesn't review bands based on hype

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