Warlord - The Holy Empire

Warlord The Holy Empire cover
The Holy Empire
Sons Of A Dream Music
Warlord’s new album and forthcoming gigs in Greece have created more uproar, blood sweat and tears and more heated arguments that most football matches, political conversations and Mexican Soap Operas put together!
I remember attempting an interview with W.J. Tsamis a few years ago, for Metal Invader, that actually, never materialized, when I thought (what a pompous $%$#) inside of me, when we didn’t see eye to eye and when we clashed on various things musical and otherwise. I did confront him on various previous “statements” that in retrospect I realize may have been a bit exaggerated or not fully indented or even if they were, at the time, they were not said maliciously. I suppose, one of the things we argued about was, that I mentioned that using existing “Lordian Guard” songs and presenting them as “Warlord” seemed as a bit “copy-paste”, which infuriated, William. At any rate, the “weird” experience didn’t dampen the love I had for the music and I was able to both re-evaluate my view as well as make peace with W.J. Tsamis.
More to the point it would seem as Tsamis unable nowadays to fully realize “Lordian Guard” without the contributions of his wife, Vidonne, who suffers poor health and is unable to perform, but not wanting to abandon their darker more epic and “serious” style tries to metastasize some melodies into Warlord song embodiments and orchestrations. After all I guess, it’s not a million miles away, although there are some songs that have a distinct “LG” or “W” identity.
The album consists of a mere 8 compositions, with most of them clocking at 5-6 minutes or more! But let’s have a more thorough look through the songs…
“70.000 Sorrows” has both a bit of a traditional Greek rhythm as well as a the haunting atmosphere of the “Lordian/Warlord” type of compositions, it’s lead is also quite entrancing!
“Glory” is a lot more placid and peaceful and neo classical but not in the contrived shredding notion, just as far as the sound orientation is concerned however. The lyrics are very religious and the overall sound very melodic, possibly making it one of the most melodic Warlord songs ever.
“Thy Kingdom Come” is a bit of an elegy, a plea towards god, and a question to heaven, about all the evils that plague humanity and why are they allowed to propagate, with the wish that the Divine Kingdom will come and correct all transgressions and forgive all trespasses. It does even have a very pink Floyd moment at around ~4:34. Woa! Interesting piece!
“City Walls Of Troy” is a bit of a gloomier number, based on a fantastic riff, but it is a bit of a one trick/track, it’s a little monotonous, If it had a “change” maybe?! It would have been so much better…
While not a bad track musically “Killzone” (feat touring vocalist Giles Lavery) the lyrics are just GIJOE type of heroism and it difficult for one to believe that grown men might have written them. With so many unarmed civilians massacred, in an effort to ahem “liberate” the “oil” and give contractors a few contracts, oh well, blowing out their brains to put them out of their misery would be the “Christian” thing to do eh? Just like “they” say. It’s just having reversed the mirror of a jihadist and looking into a crazy “hickey-haddist”. Sorry, that’s just how it sounds to me, with some catchy music. Fear breeds fear and if someone throws a kebab to you at a gig, don’t wonder why that might be?!
“Night of the Fury” is part 2 of “Killzone”. More lyrical Shenanigans, of exactly the same type, that I can’t say I condone. The eye for an eye, approach will leave the world blind, for sure. The funniest thing is that the song is somewhat mellow, so I dunno, It’s even a little more ridiculous, it’s like balladering the terrorists?! For god’s sake! Brecht would have only thought of something like that! Ugh.
“Father”. Hmm I know I wasn’t too fond of my old man. It might have to do something with him giving me shit, on a couple of things and trying to push me into a certain direction in life, which was in retrospect, very wrong of him, to even try and do and he tried to do almost dictatorially. Yet, the old @#$#@$r, is the reason I breathe, the reason I am the success or the failure I am, well the reason I am! So, thank You… I haven’t cried since he passed some 16 years ago, but, I did at this year’s kit, for maybe 2 minutes, during this song, remembering of my Dad. Mostly the bad times, we didn’t have many if any good times, to remember of, and I hardly remember him, but I miss him, so why would I want to see him again? I dunno…
Finally the album’s namesake “The Holy Empire” an 11+ minute epic that is quite interesting and majestic, but could have possibly been a little more compact without losing much in scope I guess?! (The last 2 minutes are march drums ie)
Overall, “The Holy Empire” is not a bad album by any stretch. It’s compositionally a good album, well performed, and recorded possibly with a miniscule budget. Hence, the production unfortunately suffers. The mastering tries it’s best to make up the sound, but still I liked the band better, performing live at kit, than on record, which is telling, of, pretty much everything. Richard Anderson sounds great for his age and the style, which is a bit cooler, but has been multi-tracked, most evidently, maybe a few years ago, he would have been capable to take over, as the proper Damien King 3, but now, it struck me as a bit odd, how the band chose to record the album with one vocalist then tour it, with another. Damien King 5 (?). Why would they not just get Giles Lavery if he can both handle the old style but handle melodic parts as well? (No disrespect to R.A.)
Well, if the band, ever wanted to keep on enduring as a unit, which would mean that they would have to keep on producing albums and performing even on occasion. (Health permitting)
Wool eyed fans of the band will already have this, epic metal fans might enjoy it, while the “rest” will probably be oblivious to its existence. To each his own, says I.