War Of Ages

Eternal

Written by: AP on 29/05/2010 15:06:22

War of Ages are not new kids on the block, having been around for the best part of eight years and released four full-length albums in that time. Still, my familiarity with their brand of metalcore is restricted to hearsay so any assertions made in this review about the band's past are also based on rumours. It is, however, my understanding that prior to this fifth effort, "Eternal", War of Ages have been readily compared to Throwdown and other bands from the hardcore-influenced end of the genre, and if that is the case, then (based on the general online consensus) some progress has been made on "Eternal" and the music now features such accessibility benefits as clean vocals. It also features just about every metalcore cliché imaginable.

Utmost care has been exercised in fine-tuning every aspect of this album, from the pedestrian drumming and cadenced bass line to the plastic guitar riffs and scream/clean vocal dynamics, to sound like a professionally developed metalcore album. Indeed, like the eponymous "Shadows Are Security" by their buddies and idols As I Lay Dying, War of Ages find strength in temperance, and while this inevitably earns "Eternal" labels like unimaginative and generic, it also means that the individual songs on offer here are difficult not to enjoy at least on some primal level. Everything remains constant, which is to say that each song is driven by a melodic lead that eventually graduates into a blistering guitar solo, while the lyrical department follows a typical verse-chorus-verse pattern. And, clever as they are, War of Ages have ensured that the inevitable comparisons to As I Lay Dying are justified by guest appearances by both Tim Lambesis ("Desire") and Josh Gilbert ("Lack of Clarity") so as to avoid being accused of ripping them off. If you want to sound like some other band, the foolproof approach is obviously to have members from that band corroborate your sound with their personal touches. Admittedly that does not explain why Sonny Sandoval from old school nu-metal band P.O.D. has been invited to provide some rapping and vast clean vocals to "Eternal Feat" - but no matter matter, for this is vocally and instrumentally the standout track.

What to conclude, then? Well, if you prefer your metalcore served delicious but with no surprises, much like pub food, "Eternal" might be your choice on the menu. But then so might any number of other similar (and better) bands, not least the mighty As I Lay Dying or to some extent, August Burns Red (the similarity is in the screaming style in particular). As such the album is a satisfactory affair which does its job well, providing memorable moments and headbang opportunities aplenty, but lacks the ambition needed to compete in the Ivy League of the genre.

Download: Collapse, Failure, Eternal Feat, Lack of Clarity
For the fans of: As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red, The Autumn Offering
Listen: MySpace

Release date 13.04.2010
Facedown

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