Soundchecks Music Reviews


Candlelight Cult


review by Octavio Ramos Jr

Tapping into genres such as death, black, thrash, and even power metal, Torchbearer with Warnaments crafts a battering ram for the ears. These lads from Sweden move from genre to genre with ease, using crushing speed and density on tracks such as Dark Clouds Gathering to more majestic interludes on tracks such as Burial Waters Deepsome Graves. One thing is certain: Warnaments is never boring.

Anchoring this outfit are drummer Henrik Schonstrom (Unmoored and Solar Dawn) and bassist Mikael Degerman (Satariel). Schonstrom is a machine, his double kicks matching the fury of his work on the top-skins, whereas Degerman is much more subtle, his woofer weaving its way around the guitars. Christian Alvestam (Unmoored and Scar Symmetry) and Patrik Gardberg handle the guitars, which are all over the place. Riffs are crunchy and dense, hooks rely on power metal and NWOBHM styles, and solos are majestic and intense. Fronting the band is vocalist Par Johansson (Satariel), who uses a death-metal growl that comes through well. Keyboards, samples, and other effects round out this musical menagerie.

Lyrically, the band tackles the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle that took place during World War I. The music and words bring the battle to life, with the band using classical music interludes, sound effects, and bursts of speed to create an atmosphere of action and dread.

Fans of thrash, death, and even harder-edged power metal will definitely find much to enjoy on Torchbearer's Warnaments.

Edited by Tony Lee
for PIGASUS Press