WARBRINGER has continued to evolve throughout its four albums into the one of the most aurally devastating bands in the scene today. On March 31st they deliver their monumental 5th record entitled Woe to the Vanquished and make a triumphant step forward on this record–it’s an absolute must for ANYONE who’s into metal today.
WARBRINGER singer John Kevill describes the new album musically:
“For the music on this record we re-focused ourselves after a lot of the experiments on Empires Collapse, and decided we wanted to make a record that is start-to-finish more merciless, ruthless, and cruel, but also maintains some of the more melodic and progressive sense. What we ended up with is a record that has a lot of traits of classic thrash but also a lot of extreme metal, and a rather unique version of that blend. It’s overall faster and meaner than anything else we’ve put out, but also has our biggest and most ambitious song, the 11-minute “When the Guns Fell Silent” to close the record.”
Woe to the Vanquished has been carefully crafted over period of time, and the album was produced and mixed by Mike Plottnikoff (Fear Factory, In Flames), mastered by Howie Weinberg (Slayer, Pantera) with cover art by the esteemed Andreas Marschall (Sodom, Blind Guardian, Obituary).
Kevill explains the stunning album artwork, “It is directly based on a photograph from the end of the First World War–a grim monument, a pyramid of 12,000 German spiked helmets, right in the middle of New York City. What struck me about the image is firstly how morbid it seems to be celebrating 12,000 dead men and calling it victory.”
Kevill, who is studying to be a history professor, comments on the title, Woe to the Vanquished and the story behind it: “The title “Woe to the Vanquished” comes from early Roman history–before they were the huge empire they became. In 390 BC, a host of Gauls led by a warlord called Brennus attacked Rome, and captured all the city except the Capitoline Hill. From this hill the defeated Romans made a bargain, they would pay 1,000 pounds of gold for the Gallic army to leave the city with no further bloodshed. The Romans bring the gold before Brennus, who uses his own scales to measure it. On the Gaul’s scales, the Roman’s thousand pounds of gold measured to be less, which led the Romans to complain that the scale was rigged (it probably was). Responding to this, Brennus speaks “Vae Victis” (Woe to the Vanquished) and throws his sword on the counterweight. Because the Romans lost, they have to pay the rigged sum of gold as well as the weight of the sword, to add insult to injury. The irony here is that vowing this type of humiliation would never happen again, Rome went on to become an ancient war machine conquering and subjugating most of the old world. On the record “Woe to the Vanquished” is spoken in an ironic, mocking tone–the defeated are trampled and time marches on, uncaring, and forgets they ever existed.”
“One of the great things about heavy metal as a genre is you can express tougher subject material than “I met a (boy/girl) and it was (happy/sad)”. I looked for the most monolithic evil I could find to write about with this destructive, intense music… and I did not have to look any further than reality. Forget Satan, that’s a children’s story. Real evil is in the hearts of men.”
The band has released a special extended making-of the album video. Watch it below: