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Victory At Last... - 91%

Metal_Jaw, January 21st, 2013

I fucking love this album. Seriously. It may not be one of my favorites ever, but I wholly embrace "Warning From History" as Marshall Law's strongest studio effort, beating out their fun Priest-esque debut out in sheer holy shit solos and pounding riffs. Well that's that, let's just get right into it, shall we?

The production job, again, is a little off. Seriously, why is it that I have to keep bitching about Marshall Law's production jobs?! But the reverb is pretty high on here, and when you mix that with the meaty, down-tuned guitars on this record, the songs can feel sludgy and mixed-up at times. I don't find it quite enough to kill the momentum and energy of the album overall though. Andy Pyke's vocals have now gone full power metal; the guy sounds more energized and alive in his singing than ever. Roger Davis returns to bass duties, and he too is a treat yet again. His bass is pounding and almost always very noticeable throughout the album. Andy Southwell and Dave Martin return as well for their Tipton-Downing dueling. "Warning From History" sees some of their finest, searing solos and a number of really good, memorable riffs. The drumming is again a drum machine, and again it's kind of monotonous but I didn't notice it much after a while and it sort just became natural-sounding.

Unlike on previous efforts, "Warning From History" comes armed with only a few fillers; most everything else is gold. Opening instrumental "Foregathering" isn't offensively pointless, but it's just kinda there. "Locked And Loaded" and "Pray For Deliverance", a pair of speed metal tunes, certainly don't suck but just kind of take up space, as does the short, generic "Crucified". However when it comes to speeders, the opening tune "Victory At Last" takes the cake of ass-kicking. A live favorite, it assaults the senses with a classic scorcher solo, booming bass and a really catchy, if dumb simple chorus. The epic title track and the groovish crusher "God King" crawl and crush with booming heavy duty riffs. "Harbinger", another huge speeder, attacks with yet another nifty, memorably sinister chorus and a nice melodic breakdown. Solid mid-paced affairs abound too. "Remembered Forever" brings a sort of Judas Priest meets Metal Church thing to the mix; crunchy rhythms and bass bounce along a nifty, well-done chorus and a dark, swimming solo. Even better is the catchy as hell "Retreat", which brings into even more memorable Priest/Church-like riffage; very cool song.

Overall, Marshall Law's 4th studio album is probably their best. The performances are energetic and ruthless, the riffs more memorable than ever, and the songs a bunch towering, well-constructed fortresses of power metal. Like its older brother "Metal Detector", "March From History" is quite a difficult album to come by. However, unlike it's earlier goof-up sibling, this epic crusher is very much worth tracking down. Maybe it won't be "Remembered Forever", but I fucking dig it.