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No killers, only fillers. - 60%

Corimngul, March 7th, 2006

Growing up, maturing, losing your songwriter to another band, rediscovering your Christianity and old outtakes; and getting back together again twelve years after a classic record is not a good move in metal. Calm down though, Warrior only sounds that way. Admittedly they’ve grown up, they’ve got back together again and there’s only two original members left. The two are Joe Floyd, guitarist and main songwriter; and Parramore McCarthy, the excellent lead vocalist. The new folks include two virtual and one half unknowns. More well-known is the complimentary guitarist and songwriter, Roy Z Ramirez, who’s also worked with Mike Vescara, Rob Rock, Halford and Bruce Dickinson.

Still, as far as I know Warrior have made no mentions about outtakes or religious matters, but the lyrical character has sure changed. There’s no fighting the aliens anymore, it’s us fighting us or us fighting the power, the politicians, not going to hell. The music has slowed down a little, and on songs like Learn to Love it works very well. Warrior still has one of the most tasteful ways to apply keyboards in the entire scene. “Can it be that the answers we seek are hidden in the lies we speak?”

The guitars have lost the edge, opting more for the harmonies, but do occasionally shine the way they used to. Parramore’s vocals have aged with dignity, still being gritty, still being high-pitched; but some of the power, some of the magic has gone missing. It’s a shame.

The major issue is that there are still Warrior qualities in the music, and it seems like if the band hasn’t left the eighties. Still it’s not enough, the compositions aren’t interesting enough; something is lost. The speed tracks aren’t as good as they used to be; only the slower songs bloom. There are more of them too, which adds to my view that Ancient Future is a much more boring album than the very inspired Fighting for the Earth. Another annoyance is that they overuse every slightly working element. The Rush, for example, could’ve been made shorter than it is today.

It’s like Queensrÿche’s Empire; both are hardrock albums rather than metal albums. Both followed a great album with a distinct theme. The band tried to make every song special, and ended up with no real winner at all. There’s this occasional speed track, like Tear it Down, but it never moves on, only getting stuck at screaming the title all over, like some Austrian Eurovision song.

Sad is it may be, but except for Learn to Love, this album contains only fillers. Tear it Down even ruins the background music status. Most of the album is decent though, making Ancient Future Warrior’s third best album, second to The Code of Life and Fighting the Earth.