Wednesday, 11 July 2012

WARLORD U.K. - Maximum Carnage (1996)

01  Maximum Carnage
02  Disintergration
03  Nowhere To Run
04  Change
05  Alien Dictator
06  Vivesection
07  Theater Of Destruction
08  Race War
09  Nobody's Driving (Amebix cover)
10  Chain Reaction (Amebix cover)
11  Raining Blood (Slayer cover)

'Maximum Carnage' is the first album by the British death/thrash band Warlor U.K., released on April 1st 1996 via Nuclear Blast Records. It was produced by Paul Johnston at Rhythm Studios in Birmingham. The lineup for this album consists of Mark White (vocals/bass), Mick Gorst (guitar) and Neil Farrington (drums). Sadly, Neil Farrington passed away on December 20th 2009.

On the surface, there is nothing wrong with Warlord U.K., as they perform a deep and thick blend of thrash and death metal which feels like a midpoint between late 80s Sepultura and the more brutal fare of their countrymen Benediction and Bolt Thrower. Dave Ingram of Benediction even adds guest vocals to several of the tracks. They cover all the bases, from brutal grooves to mid-paced thrashing over double-bass rhythms, to solid leads, pumping bass guitar and an atmosphere compulsive to warfare and violence. The lyrics and song titles all feel fairy standard, but hardly pedestrian, and they merge quite well with the songs.

What's interesting, is that the band have committed over fifteen minutes of the album's play length to cover songs, which seems a little strange for a debut. We get two Amebix covers, "Nobody's Driving" and "Chain Reaction" (both from the 1987 'Monolith' album), and Warlord does well to convert them into something that would fit snugly into a live set. The cover of Slayer's "Raining Blood" seems a little too obvious even for an album put out in 1996. The track has simply been covered a thousand times, and the Warlord version doesn't do anything revolutionary with it.

In the end 'Maximum Carnage' really doesn't have that much going for it to make it stand out from being nothing more that your typical 90's sounding death/thrash metal release. Based on the overall 'average' feel of this album, I'm not entirely sure that even if the sound issues had been rectified, it would have made a huge difference in the end. Either way the band died a rather quiet death in 1999 before surprisingly, reforming in 2008 and eventually releasing album number two, 'Evil Within' in 2010.

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