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First-rate new band - 80%

DGYDP, January 30th, 2009

I don't like most so-called new-wave thrash metal bands, but the British band Warpath is truly an exception. After an EP in 2005, the band released its first full-length in 2008, Damnation. It displays a superb musical ensemble, with proof that Warpath is a lot better than your average new thrash band. The vocals are the weak point of the album, and perhaps they should consider getting a professional singer. Still, they are not “bad” in the strict sense of the word, since the good songwriting makes more than up for it. The clean, grumpy singing lacks aggression and variation, but as I said the musical part makes you forget about all that.

Contrary to most new thrash bands, there is in fact originality to be found here. Lots of riffs have that subtle Eastern touch that reminds one of Exodus' “Piranha” or even Artillery's “Khomaniac”. A strong point of the music is that it manages to incorporate non-thrash parts, without loosing any straightforwardness. Think of those late '80s “progressive” bands with their instrumental doodles, but with an extra injection of aggression and no-bullshit attitude. Or you could put it like this: it's the best of both worlds – a good combination of in your face thrash and instrumental chops. Guitars, bass and drums are all first-rate and prove the potential of Warpath.

The production is very well done too, providing a clean environment where all instruments come to their right. It's remarkable that an unsigned band managed to come up with such a good final product and I sincerely hope they can find a decent record company. Warpath are without a doubt one of the best unsigned bands of the moment. Though it is far from optimal, Damnation is a very enjoyable release that deserves your attention! Recommended to all thrash metal fans. (originally written for Metalcrypt)