Warlord 
Artist: Warlord 
Label: Solid State/Tooth & Nail 

I'd say Warlord is probably the first Christian band to play this style of music.....doom hardcore!  They've melded the harsh guitar tone and throat-ripping shouts of hardcore (ala Unashamed in particular) with the mostly slow, chugging riffs, oppressing atmosphere, and lengthy nature (4 songs - 26 minutes) of doom metal.  The production is raw and sloppy enough to almost sound live, which won't help them gain any fans since this form of dissonant noise is hard enough to take when the production is great.  The song titles ("The Quest," "Where the Road Forks," "The Legend," and "The Gathering") and the Christ-focused lyrics give off a very medieval fantasy vibe in the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien.  "The Gathering" gives me chills as it sets a poetic description of God's children marching home to eternity against the sounds of a cheering multitude: 

sing with all the sons of glory, sing the resurrection song, 
death and sorrow, earth's dark story, to the former days belong, 
all around the clouds are breaking, soon the storms of time shall cease, 
in God's likeness, man awakening, we will know everlasting peace, 
through the night of doubt and sorrow, onward goes the pilgrim band, 
singing songs of expectation, marching to the promised land. 

Another cool thing is the once-upon-a-time spoken word beginning to "The Legend," with rain and eerie piano in the distance. 

This debut shows definite promise for Warlord.  They've got some serious substance and an intriguing concept going; if they can improve the production, change up the riffs more often, and keep up the mood enhancements like narration, cheering, rain, etc., then they might find themselves leading a legion of fans on to the kingdom.-----Josh Spencer 
 

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