WARG - In the Dusk of Men
Self Release
Epic Thrash Metal
9 songs (40' 7")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Andy

At one point, back in 2011, we reviewed an effort by Spanish thrash metallers Adamantivm. A few years ago, they disbanded and then reformed as WARG, still playing thrash, but with more of an epic sound -- certainly with less Big Four DNA than the old band had. In the Dusk of Men's confused and messy at times, but those are the most interesting parts.

To cover the ambitious territory, a lot gets crammed into what are fairly short tracks. Serviceable but not always creative thrash riffs abound, sharing space with lead-guitar-as-fiddle melodies with a folkish, almost medieval air to them. Javier Gregorio Salazar's vocals switch between predominantly clean but ragged melodies and some death metal growls, but female guest vocals appear on several tracks, and in keeping with the epic aims of the album, one gets a whole army of male vocal "ahhhs" behind some of the choruses. WARG shows itself at its messiest but most inventive on tracks with more of a power metal vibe, such as Ancient Times, which also contains some of the more interesting and well-mixed thrash riffs. Or what I consider the best track on the album -- Light Under the Shadows, featuring symphonic stylings and channeling something like a cross between Falconer's riffs and Elvenking's songwriting.

In the Dusk of Men's main drawback is that a lot of the songs, while possessing a good portion of their influences' strength, just don't have the melodic strength necessary to make them both heavy and lasting; the title track, for example, has some razor-sharp riffing and its soloing is first-rate, but the song is easily forgotten. The more epic-oriented songs, on the other hand, seem to have more guts to them, and their slight clumsiness -- the band seems to still be feeling their way around this aspect of their sound -- does little to hamper them. Even on tracks with more of their previous thrashiness, such as on Tiergartenstrasse 4, this mix of styles still gives off a greater presence than when they're working only from a mid-90s Testament template.

WARG's sophomore effort is not always as memorable as one would like, but shows them redefining their sound towards a larger atmosphere that I didn't hear from them as much in their previous album. In the meantime, a few of the good tracks on In the Dusk of Men make up for a lot of the weaker ones.

Bandcamp: https://warg.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-dusk-of-men.

Killing Songs :
Ancient Times, Light Under the Shadows
Andy quoted 76 / 100
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