WARTORN – Iconic Nightmare LP/CD



WARTORN – Iconic Nightmare LP/CD

If you haven’t already noticed, Southern Lord has decided to add some bands to their roster recently that stylistically fall outside of their norms.  In the past few months we have seen them reach out to the crusties with releases from KROMOSOM, MARTYRDOD, and FROM ASHES RISE.  Now they offer up this delicious slab.  WARTORN hail from Wisconsin USA and have had a number of releases over the past 4 or so years and today approach their craft with both precision and sheer brute force.  Strong soaring melodies pair with crushing metal-laced hardcore riffs evoking both later HHIG and HELLSHOCK.  The bass is so punishing and thick and is contrasted against the crisp snare drum hits.  I gotta say that one of the things I like most about this are the juxtapositions that are all over it.  There are guttural vocals set against Bitty’s clearer  shouting, and the drummer sounds firmly rooted in a punk sound as opposed to so many bands in this genre that have more of a death-metal approach to the drums.


Since I mentioned the genre, there is something else that I gotta get out here… There are many people out there who hold that crustcore bands today are all in some kind of rut.  They claim that there is little originality, but I think that there are many bands out there today that just know what they are into and want to play in that style while adding their own flavor to it all.  Some bands do this very well and develop their own particular sound over time and some bands just don’t.  Conductors and orchestras have been re-recording Beethoven for over a hundred years.  Were they attempting to do something new?  Not usually.  They just wanted to play in their style and do it particularly well.  Can you add your own touches?  Of course, and why not, but I bet if you ask, they would say they just wanted to treat the material with respect and a sense of integrity.  That sums up how I feel about many of the crust bands today.  These are people who have found something that they love, something that speaks to them and gives them a voice to speak as well.  One of my favorite bands over the past year has been INFERNOH from Sweden.  Straight up ANTI-CIMEX worship but done so well and with such conviction and it totally rules.  Anyway, what I am getting at is that originality and innovation within a genre does not equal great music.  WARTORN sound fucking great without having to reinvent anything.  They know who they are, what they want to say and they fucking kill it with this release.

Iconic Nightmare has a razor-sharp metallic production with a huge sound that is really leaps and bounds ahead of their previous offerings.  This LP shows WARTORN jumping from haunting and beautiful intros into savage onslaught, thrashing, chugging riffs lead into dark melodies without ever missing a beat or feeling disjointed.  Southern Lord has delivered yet another classic record with this masterful album from WARTORN.






~ by thrashpunx on February 26, 2013.

2 Responses to “WARTORN – Iconic Nightmare LP/CD”

  1. Great review i’ve been a fan of Wartorn for a few years not heard the new album yet but I’ll get to it! Judging by your review it’ll be killer. Just wanted to say that I fully agree that “Crust” music is in a kinda rut, ever since 2000 when Tragedy & From Ashes Rise started adding those melodic leads, epic breakdowns,heavy downtuned guitar & Pick slides it seems that “crust” has become a bit formulaic to say the least and there has been a huge swell of new bands doing this style some great and some maybe need more originality! I note that you mention a death metal approach to drums? I think some “crust” is bordering on a death metal sound it’s become that heavy the only difference being worthwhile lyrics rather than the gruesome death metal style lyrics! Which leads me to my next point Southern Lord are a great label never afraid to try different things but I do view their recent forrays into “Crust” with a little skepticism it does however prove to me that crust is crossing over to the doom/death/black metal crowds I think because of the shift in it’s sound away from punk and more towards the melodic leads and thick heavy sound & production! Not that I don’t welcome the fact that it brings more fans and encourages more bands as long as bands are striving to be original with their sound as although I’ve Really dug almost all of the Southern Lord “crust” releases of late it would seem they are mostly sticking to bands that have the sound I mentioned above. I also have to question why a band like Wartorn for example would move from a political label like Profane Existence to a bigger (albeit still independent) label like Southern Lord who’s ethos is firmly planted in the music rather than the politics of “crust/punk” I’m in no way Criticizing Southern Lord or their views or Beliefs I’m a fan of the label and their releases, I just hope it doesn’t lead to a dearth of lacklustre releases or a diluting of any of the bands politics.
    Keep up the good work! Thanks.

  2. […] We have a limited number of the new WARTORN Iconic Nightmare LP on Southern Lord. Heavy weight vinyl. This record has been greating (well earned) great reviews all over the place, like this one from Thrashpunx.com: […]

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