WARLORD: "Rising Out Of The Ashes"         www.warlord.ws      www.drakkar.de 
Frank And Smokey's East - Long Island NY (USA) 

Drakkar Records
a division of Drakkar Entertainment GmbH 

Distributed by:
review by Dalia "Gryphon_spirit"
Dear metalheads and readers, i would begin this review saying that this is a very important release, and it's even more important cause we will check together how beautiful and excellent this album is. But let's proceed with order: first of all, some of you  recognize at once the comeback of the mythical Warlord group after 15 years (yes 15 years silence!!), but some others of you have never heard this name, maybe. So let's quickly present who Warlord are. Let's go back to the early 80's when guitarist and composer William J Tsamis and drummer Mark Zonder (Fates Warning? yes) have created Warlord and have released "Deliver Us" and the album "And the cannons of destruction have begun...", maybe one of the best metal album ever. Then, after having published a kind of "best of" ("Thy Kingdome Come"),  the brilliant (mid-80's) Warlord disappeared, and the members of the group went their careers. It was a really pity, cause the world of the Metal Music lost if not the artists, an union that in itself was simply cool. William Tsamis gave birth to a project called Lordian Guard. But Warlord ended. And here comes the important point: Warlord is back, like a phoenix "rising out of the ashes " indeed, Warlord is now (anno domini 2002) back with all its experience and excellent capacity to make music, with all its epic and legendary vision of the Power metal. And not only the fans all over the world are experiencing this dream that has come true, but also one of the most important vocalists of the Power music is living a dream himself: Joacim Caine of Hammerfall. Yes, cause he was practically still a child when he bought his first Warlord CD, and now... he is the voice of this reborn wonderful act! Yes, only just believe, and dreams really come true! 

Before going on one thing must be underlined: none of you should think a) that in this album some old-fashioned meaningless stuff is presented;  b) the almost usual Power Metal aspects of swords, battles and foreseen anthems are present here in the almost usual way. No, both suppositions were totally wrong. If it's true that in the tracklisting there are many songs of the previous Warlord and Guardian Lore era, all of them are presented and played in an absolute current way, being the most  practically  new versions; secondly, if we are here listening to Power Metal, well... people.... this is Power of the best nature you can imagine: sometimes epic, sometimes monumental, sometimes dark, sometimes sad, sometimes melodic,sometimes acoustic with medieval flavours, sometimes anthemic in the best meaning of the work, sometimes aggressive, sometimes tender, always interesting and intense. And even "swords and battles" are proposed more refinedly, with a cultural base too, and we will see why.

This album is  not only dedicated to every Power Metal fan, but also to all lovers of true and intelligent Metal, cause moreover one can find many influences from heavy too, Iron Maiden not excluded, reaching the darkest aspects of the modern Power as well. "Rising out from the Ashes" is perfect, otherwise what could you actually say when you are realizing that: the production is higher class, every instrument and every note is well merged, but still perfectly recognazible, when the sound level of every instrument is optimized, when every time changing is sounding so fluency, when the vocals are at the top and never never boring, when the melodies are super and have a certain degree of atmosphere without presenting excessive electronic backgrounds at all, when the professionality and the ability of playing is so superb that nothing, but really nothing, is disturbing your ear and mind? You can only listen and enjoy. This release is super for everyone, bringing the metal music to its most valuable heights. All  classical elements of the 80's are filtered and proposed with a modern taste, making of this album a work without time or space. it must be said that the work  done by every instrument is brilliant, that drums are never disturbing the general soundscape and that Joacim Caine is perfectly getting in , singing better here than with Hammerfall , if i may say. at least this is my impression.
The 9 tracks are 9 songs who are kicking ass, but allow me to begin checking the tracklisting starting from the bottom.

From the bottom, yes from the ninth song "ACHILLES REVENGE" (based indeed on Homer's Iliad): it's epic, with ancient dark tones, which could belong to ancient civilizations and to middle age as well, always agreeable and mysterious. Simply monumental, with the use of different musical techniques will enchant you bringing you in an atmosphere, that has nothing in common with the lowest battle  images  . The catchy refrain will kill you then definitively, hehhehe.Like i was mentioning, the visions of battles , swords, shields and heroes are "ennobled" by a real cultural source (culture!, people, culture! at the face of all who are saying   metalheads are dirty and  ignorant!!Take this, narrow-minded conformists!) Unuseful to say that this song is the perfect way to close this album and to begin to speak about it as well, cause, at my opinion, it is the emblem of the whole work.
"Hail to the one! To the king of the dead in Acheron
in his shadow we fade, we are lost in his name.

Hail to the one!

But now, back to the normal sequence:
BATTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD is an old Warlord song that was however released only during the Lordian Guard era. As opener is showing at once the very high level of this work. After a good intro is turning in a full of energy anthem, with the best characteristics of the Power with propositive and harmonious chords, and many solo riffs. Perfect in every note.
ENEMY MIND is, on the contrary, a new Warlord song and is beginning in a dark mysterious way, proceeding with a mid tempo on which  are inserted groups of "up and downs" of "scales".
INVADERS , anthemic but with a sad background, energetic and melodic enough, sounds catchy and fresh, accompanied by the strong guitars and many virtuoso instrumental moments.
WINDS OF THOR and WAR IN HEAVEN are songs of the Lordian Guard era proposed in a cool modern and atmospheric way without forgetting to intensify the innate spirit of what Warlord was and the more classical techniques. War in heaven, based on John Milton's Paradise Lost (culture again!) has a fantastic galloping rhythm, but is  offering  delicate moments and atmospheric passages as well.
MY NAME IS MAN, also coming from the Lordian Guard era, is beginning with a fantastic intro where modern sound effects is coexisting with ancient flavours. Bright and dark at the same time, like projected in another dimension it's proceding intense but harmonious, not loud , where lead guitar is supported by an acoustical background. It sounds somehow mediterranean and medieval, melodic and tormented, nostalgic anyway. A super ballade.
Energy and rythm are coming back with LUCIFER'S HAMMER which is a Warlord classic song. This new version is an absolute hammer, with its catchy refrain, his powerful guitars and its lead solo riffs.
"Save us from ourselves" is the brilliant final loop
SONS OF A DREAM is another new song, which alternates melody to strength with all new ingredients of the more modern metal; faboulous time changings working on the same refrain are making this song irresistible. Valuable loops, catchy melody, agreeable voice, cool solos, new taste, with much sadness inside. Suitable also to all who like dark music: an occasion to change mind about  Power. 

This album is a pure fantastic alchemy. A monumental work, not to be missed. A masterpiece. An adventure to live together. Welcome back Warlord, Lords of the Music! Thanks for being born again from the ashes , more spectacular than before. But we, poor souls, do we deserve You? You anyway deserve a 10/10 summa cum laude!! 
Hail to the one!!!

Dalia "Gryphon_spirit" Di Giacomo

Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum