War Without Reason
posted on 6/2008 By:
My friend Rob used to do this thing that he called "Album Jacket Poetry," because he was old enough to remember album jackets when they were called that. This little routine of his consisted of a beat-poet-styled reading of the song titles on the back of whichever album he had handy. Some albums worked better than others, but as I look at War Without Reason's Godless Heathens, I am reminded of his goofy act, snapping his fingers and reading in the style of Mike Myers' character in So I Married An Axe Murderer:
"Welcome To Circusville,
Army Of Wolves
Massacre The Shepherds.
Where Was God?
In His Communion With The Ancient Basilisk."
That whole introduction has very little to do with anything really, but it just came to mind and I'm throwing it out there for your enjoyment.
From Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, comes the decidedly non-Christian death metal quartet War Without Reason. Godless Heathens is their second release, behind 2007’s full length, and whether it’s an improvement, I cannot say, having not heard the earlier work. What I hear on Heathens is a filthy death metal band, down and dirty and sometimes melodic, but still with some room for improvement.
On the plus side, War Without Reason is not an all-out blastorama. The guitar tone is dirty, and the riffs alternate between a more Floridian pummeling and an occasional Dismember-like memorability. There’s a clean-guitar intro that really doesn’t add much to anything. There are a few runs of arpeggiation that may appeal to the death-core youngsters, but mostly, this is just your standard ugliness, frantic at times but often more deliberately paced. As the album progresses, the songs get longer and more involved, with more frequent flirtations with melody, particularly in the eight-minute “Ancient Basilisk.”
Now what’s wrong with that, you’re asking? Well, stylistically, nothing. But in execution, it’s sloppy and meandering, a band not too far above average playing music that I’m predisposed to liking, and that latter point may work a bit in their favor. There are some production woes, like a few drum parts that could’ve been played better (or fixed, thanks to the wonders of digital recording) and a few guitar riffs that seem slightly muffled. This is a raw record, and War Without Reason is a young band, so I’m forgiving but I’m still nonplussed. There’s room here to grow, but this isn’t what I’d call a true success. It’s a good introduction, and it’s worthy of a few listens on Myspace, but for my money, I’d want something a little tighter, equally unrefined but yet more distinctive and destructive.
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