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Bolt Thrower's third album is commonly regarded as the death metal band's magnum opus, though even its fans admit a tendency towards repetition.
For a death metal record, 'War Master' is surprisingly accessible, in the loosest possible sense, and this seems to have been a deliberate decision made by the band. Gone are the monstrously heavy riffs of 'Realm of Chaos' as the guitars (I am reliably informed) are tuned up from A ("A?" Who the hell plays in A?) to C#, lending a guitar tone reminiscent of thrash bands such as Slayer, especially in the screaming solos. Also, more obviously, the overall tempo has been significantly slowed.
The doom metal influence on 'Realm of Chaos' was occasionally jarring, but here the doom riffs are more skilfully incorporated into the medium pace, with only a few sections of songs like 'Cenotaph' returning to the earlier, faster speed. The slower tempo means that this album lacks some of its energy, but none of its intensity, and Karl Willetts' deep growls are now more compelling than ever. Games Workshop fans will be pleased that his war-torn lyrics, inspired by the tabletop war game 'Warhammer 40,000,' are all clearly legible despite the growl, and everyone else can just enjoy one of the heaviest things to come out of Coventry.
1. Intro... Unleashed (Upon Mankind)
2.What Dwells Within
3.The Shreds of Sanity
9.Rebirth of Humanity
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Intro...Unleashed (Upon Mankind)
2 What Dwells Within
3 Shreds of Sanity
4 Profane Creation
5 Destructive Infinity [*]
6 Final Revelation
8 War Master
9 Rebirth of Humanity