Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Warfist - "Grünberger" (Godz ov War Productions, 2019)

Band: Warfist
Title: Grünberger
Genre: Black/Thrash Metal
Time: 37.23 min
Release Date: 27th February 2019
Rating: 83/100

Ladies and gentlemen, here you are Warfist! 2 days ago I featured them into the first Timpani allo Spiedo's playlist, that you can play at the right of the blog. And as I promised, this is the review of "Grünberger", the devastating third album of Warfist, a Polish horde that, before releasing their debut album in 2014, released a bunch of stuff like 2 demos, an EP and 4 splits since their foundation in 2004. Now, they are only in 2 members, and one of them, the singer/guitarplayer Mihu, is one of their original founders. Instead, they become a trio for the live gigs with the addition of Nechrist (Arkona, Witchmaster...), with which Warfist participated this year in the renowned Polish open air festival Black Silesia, that this time saw in action bands of the calibre of Hellfire Deathcult, Pseudogod, Varathron, Nunslaughter and even the legendary Tormentor. But now what's about "Grünberger"?

For their new opus, Warfist did great things just starting from the lyrics. In fact, as you can read on the booklet, it "is a concept album about dark pages of the history of Zielona Góra/Grünberg", that's the specific area where Warfist operates. So, you'll find 10 tracks that, in the lyrical side, are a series of abominations about, for example, the Inquisition ("Death by the Cleansing Fire"), the Black Plague ("The Chapel of Death"), bloodthirsty serial killers ("Slay, Swive and Devour", that's directly connected with the following "The Punishment"), the WWII but, more specifically, the terrible fate awaiting the prisoners of the Gross-Rosen Nazi concentration camp ("March of Death") and the brutal "liberation" of the area by the Red Army ("Atrocious Saviour"). I must confess I like a lot this kind of lyrics hystorically well documented, also because, in this way, Warfist have mostly avoided the ultra-classic Satanic topics that are very usual for a band of their genre. But it isn't the first time that a band belonging to the roster of Godz ov War Productions writes similar lyrics based on history, as just seen on these pages through the US black metallers Prezir.

Instead, on the musical side, Warfist shows a more classic approach but with some surprises. In fact, they play basically a black/thrash metal that, for the truth, is thrasher than black, reminding me a lot of Sodom also in the vocal department. But this style is played with a good dynamicity, so to range rhythmically, thanks to a drummer as Pavulon, from occasional furious blasting explosions to slow tempos, or from galloping heavy metal parts ("Atrocious Saviour") to frequent breakdowns which, typical of the purest thrash metal, make a lot groovy (and even more intimidating!) the music of Warfist. In addition, there isn't only '80s black metal nor thrash metal in this album but also, as I anticipated before, some heavy metal influences, that are mainly located in the end of the tracklist. So, "Grünberger" is characterized by a nice variety that makes it interesting throughout its duration.
Speaking about the variety in a deeper manner, I can mention some songs that also represent Warfist at their best. Hence, I can cite "The Chapel of Death", that's a song mostly based on effective mid-tempos, showing, already in the beginning of the album, that Warfist aren't speed lovers for the speed's sake but they always knows how to alternate well the fast tempos with the slower ones. Instead, "Slay, Swive and Devour" is faster and contains some fantastic and engaging vocal lines. Then, there is "Death by the Cleansing Fire", that's particularly full of Slayer-esque guitar solos (anyway, the solos are present in every song) as well of so tempo changes that this song is the most dynamic one in the album, and we mustn't forget its German spoken section that partially reproduces, with an accusatory voice, a "witches' trial sentence from the seventeeth century". And finally, a review of this opus is nothing without mentioning "March of Death", where the band shows unexpected atmospheric skills by playing also dark arpeggios, and it features even some desperate screams by Mihu.

After all this, I've to say that "Grünberger" is better than I expected before listening to it. This because Mihu and Pavulon spews forth a blackened thrash metal that's both really classic but also imaginative enough thanks to nice ideas, that allows to Warfist to offer, in according to the different mood, to be violent, atmospheric, dark, or more epic in a heavy metal sense. Plus, as exemplified by the German spoken section of "Death by the Cleansing Fire" (that has been released also as official video to promote the album), the band has a sort of theatrical skills that can be developed better in their next productions to come. So, no other bullshits to say, "Grünberger", that's very good also to mosh like damned men, deserves a lot of consideration by you maniacs...and DON'T TRUST those reviewers that consider it as a monotonous album!

1 - Black Army
2 - The Chapel of Death
3 - Feasting on Dead Bodies
4 - The Burning Flames of Ignorance
5 - Slay, Swive and Devour
6 - The Punishment
7 - Death by the Cleansing Fire
8 - Grünberger (Drinking with the Devil)
9 - March of Death
10 - Atrocious Saviour


Mihu  vocals/guitars/bass
Pavulon - drums

Godz ov War Productions:

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