On Friday, two re-thrash titans returned from extended absences following inconsistent releases. And I’m happy to report that both tracks, Havok’s “Hang ‘Em High and Warbringer’s “Silhouettes,” easily top the majority of Unnatural Selection and Empires Collapse, respectively, breathing new life into two of modern thrash metal’s most talented bands.
Havok chose a more aggressive sound for this single, shedding some of their Megadeth influence to produce a venemous, Exodus-inspired anthem. Taking aim at crooked politicans and big business (as per usual), David Sanchez showcases some of his most aggressive vocals to date, supported by a stellar performance from new bassist Nick Schendzielos. It’s a pretty simple track, but does exactly what it set out to do and suggests that the disappointing Unnatural Selection was nothing more than an inconsequential, brief misfire.
On the other hand, Warbringer opted for more of a non-linear song structure with “Silhouettes,” a decision that paid off in spades. Easily one of the band’s best songs to date, it’s impossibly catchy while losing none of the edge that distinguishes Warbringer as one of modern thrash metal’s premier acts. John Kevill has always been a somewhat divisive vocalist, but he sounds massive on this track, a lit match against the gasoline-soaked shredding courtesy of Adam Carroll and Chase Becker. It’s also worth noting that Warbringer seem to be opting for a quality-over-quantity approach, as Woe to the Vanquished is only going to contain 8 new tracks, with “Silhouettes” rightfully positioned as the opener.
While both these tracks exceeded my expectations and have exponentially increased my anticipation for both Conformicide and Woe to the Vanquished, if I had to choose between the two, I’d have to give it to Warbringer this time around. Though “Hang ‘Em High” showcases an out-of-this-world bass performance, the effortlessly complex thrashy goodness of “Silhouettes” is second-to-none.
Conformicide is set for a March 10th release, while Woe to the Vanquished will drop on March 31st. Buy them both (seriously, do it) and check out both singles below.