Warlord - Rising Out of the Ashes

Warlord Rising Out of the Ashes cover
Rising Out of the Ashes
Drakkar Entertainment GMBH
The legend is back. After eighteen whole years of painful (for us) absence from our music scene (at least under the “Warlord” name) William Tsamis and Mark Zonder are here with a new album. Before starting to analyze the new album I feel obliged to say a few words about the history of the band, as most of the new metal fans might not be aware of what Warlord means. The band took shape at the beginning of the 80s by William (guitars) and Mark (drums). Their first release was the mini LP - masterpiece “Deliver Us” in 1983 (it has never been released on CD, the vinyl costs a fortune). Their second release in 1984 was the monumental “...And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun”, which in essence provided us with only a few new songs and a couple of re-executions of old songs with their new singer. Unfortunately, the band didn’t manage to maintain a steady line-up and it disappeared. However, the legacy they left behind is priceless. I doubt that there is any other band which released only 12-13 songs and yet characterized a whole era and is remembered as one of the greatest names in 80s (and not only) heavy metal.
Warlord were in essence the musical child of the constant “duel” between William and Mark. Even the singers used to play a secondary role to the songs. Amazing voices indeed but the whole story was the “musical battle” between the two talented musicians (especially in the solos), where it seemed that the one wanted to surmount the other, with the result to create a musical orgy never been copied again by anyone else. William is probably the most expressive guitar player (compared maybe with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour). He created amazing songs of lyrical heavy/power metal full of creepy harmonies and solos. Mark is the best drummer in the universe as he achieved the unbelievable: he gave life to the soulless drums and created individual musical phrases (thank God he continued to provide us with his ingenious playing with Fates Warning after Warlord were disbanded).
One said once that the two most important power/epic bands ever are Manowar and Warlord, with the difference that Manowar expressed the passion and the anger of the warrior going to the battle ready to slay them all, whereas Warlord expressed the calmed feelings of the warrior who has returned from the battles and is able to narrate all those things he has experienced... I cannot find any better way to describe it. For those who haven’t listened to Warlord’s music it is unbelievably difficult to describe it, as no one managed to play as they did. The only band that managed to have a similar sound were Crimson Glory in the “Transcendence” album.
The new album is nothing less than what Warlord know how to do best. Lyrical power metal of the highest quality, in the way that no one else is able to play. There are only 4-5 bands that manage to give me the creeps with their music as Warlord do and their new album did the same. It is as if not one single day has passed since 1984. Sometimes the feeling I get from what I listen from the new album makes me wanna cry from the passion that the new songs transmit to me. The singer this time is Hammefall’s Joacim Cans (he must be really thrilled as he is a massive Warlord fan), and I have to say that I am speechless by his capabilities to perform those difficult songs. Congratulations man! However, I have to say that again; the whole story is William’s and Mark’s duel, this is what makes the album unique.
By the way, it consists of four brand new songs, four songs that were published by Tsamis’ project, Lordian Guard, but in essence were written back in the 80s for the upcoming Warlord album that was never released then, and a re-execution of the classic “Lucifer’s Hammer” (which according to me is the only weak moment of the album). Don’t be misled by the four re-issues of the Lordian Guard’s songs! They sound like totally new songs with a man on the vocals and Mark behind the drum set. All songs are characterized by this unique Warlord sound of mystery and majesty that turned them into a legend. I really find it worthless to say anything else about a group that contributed to what I am today, rather than just a huge “thank you for your music”. If you have the money to buy only one CD during 2002, then you should buy “Rising Out of the Ashes”. So you would be able to understand what inspiration, talent and chemistry between two musicians can create. What’s left for me is to close with a few lyrics from an old song of theirs: “All myths of man and Gods will apply, when sanity and reason begin to die The Dragons you have denied and wish to slay, will rise to conquer us all someday”. HAIL!