|Melodic Death Metal
November 21st, 2013
Release length: 19:26
Right away, it’s clear the spirit of the Gothenburg era relies within this band. The slight analog quality gives the music a cold, yet somewhat empty feeling common to the style during it’s glory days of the nineties. Wargaz even takes that a step further by performing largely slower and extended songs that often come off grand in an Insomnium manner without much of an effort. You wouldn’t know this at first with “Decline of Mankind” though. The performance has some slight technicality at a slower pace that sounds like something off a Vehemence album, especially in the restrained pacing of the growling vocals. Things speed up a bit, incorporating a little more heat in the bass kicks and cymbals before the fluid-like guitar solo around the half way point that ushers in a return to the somber state from earlier.
“If Below a Tree I Rested” starts off as if weighted down, but the performance does pick up not too long after. This track carries more of an early In Flames vibe at that time, especially in the melody-rich chorus that manages to give the song a very subtle Folk Metal touch that bleeds into a guitar solo torn right from the eighties, perfectly fitting the rawer audio quality. Some of the hooks later seem to throw back to “Decline of Mankind,” tying the two together to make them sort of a mini-epic. The same goes for the start of “Thy Nearby Damnation,” though some subtle changes in the notes give it a far more glorious tone than the sobering one of the two tracks before. This song clocks in at just under six minutes, and the shorter time doesn’t find Wargaz pushing the song any further than it needs to be. There’s still a good amount of changes to the music and speed, but overall they feel the most natural, and in many ways the most addicting when it comes to the simpler or richer hooks. The only issue lies in the heavy focus on the drum kit, namely the bass kicks that are played quicker for longer periods of time towards the end. What impact they have ends up dwarfed due to how thin and low a volume the thud they give off is.
When it comes to the nearly forgotten world of Gothenburg, Wargaz shows a very devoted appreciation for the style in every moment of the three songs that make up their self-titled EP. It’s an interesting breed of nineties-grade audio, cold music that is sombering or depressing, and even a hint of Folk influence to some of the hooks and solos. Each track also manages to have subtle similarities that don’t feel like recycled riffs, but instead come off more like intertwined emotions that make the already grand performances more like a bigger nineteen minute plus epic. While the band does a good job at keeping the extended life of each song as interesting as possible, some of the additions feel a bit overkill after a while, making another spin through seem like more of a daunting task than it really is. But, If you get the chance to check out Wargaz, it’s a nice little reminder about a genre that defined Melodic Death Metal you should take the time to experience at least once.
01. Decline of Mankind – 6:19
02. If Below a Tree I Rested – 7:20
03. Thy Nearby Damnation – 5:47
|Initial Pressing Score: 7/10