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Warlord “Free Spirit Soar” Album Review By Luz Figueroa

Warlord band members

In their latest offering, Free Spirit Soar, Warlord navigates through the legacy left by the late William J Tsamis with a meticulous crafting that not only pays homage but also ventures into expanding their distinctive sound. With Mark Zonder and Giles Lavery steering the ship, alongside contributions from Philip Bynoe, Eric Juris, and the noteworthy keyboard skills of Jimmy Waldo, the album aims to bridge the gap between the past glories and the contemporary era of heavy metal.

The album opens with “Behold a Pale Horse”, immediately setting a tone that is both reflective and forward-moving. Bynoe’s bass lines and Zonder’s precise drumming lay a solid foundation that is magnified by the textured guitar work and Lavery’s dynamic vocal range. The track serves as a testament to the band’s ability to weave intricate musical narratives that are both evocative and engaging.

The inclusion of reimagined classics and unfinished works of Tsamis is a bold move. Tracks like “The Rider” and “Conquerors” showcase the band’s knack for blending their hallmark epic metal vibes with fresh arrangements, presenting a rich tapestry of sounds that echoes the band’s lineage while exploring new territories. The keyboards, especially, stand out, offering a layer of depth and atmosphere that harks back to the band’s early days but feels entirely contemporary.

However, not all experiments on Free Spirit Soar hit their mark. While the effort to incorporate a variety of influences and styles is commendable, tracks like “Alarm” struggle to find a cohesive rhythm, oscillating between moments of brilliance and segments that feel somewhat disjointed. The ambitious narrative and thematic elements occasionally overshadow the musical cohesion, leading to a listening experience that, while intriguing, can feel uneven.

The album reaches its zenith with “Free Spirit Soar”, the title track, and “The Bell Tolls”, both embodying the quintessence of Warlord’s sound. Here, the band successfully fuses melancholic melodies with powerful riff-driven momentum, creating an immersive listening experience that is both nostalgic and novel.

Free Spirit Soar does not shy away from its identity as a tribute to Tsamis. It is a record filled with passion, showcasing a band that is not only looking back with reverence but also forward with ambition. The album’s production merits praise for its clarity and warmth, allowing each element of the band’s sound to resonate fully, from the thunderous drum beats to the soaring guitar solos and layered keyboards.

Free Spirit Soar stands as a solid addition to Warlord’s discography, balancing between homage and innovation. While it occasionally stumbles in its ambition, the album’s highs are a powerful reminder of the band’s lasting impact on the heavy metal genre. It serves as a fitting tribute to Tsamis, and while it might not eclipse the band’s seminal works, it reaffirms their standing and spirit within the metal community.

Luz’s Rating: 7.5/10

Order your copy here: https://www.hrrecords.de/WARLORD_1

Warlord album cover

Tracklisting:
01 Behold A Pale Horse
02 The Rider
03 Conquerors
04 Worms Of The Earth
05 The Watchman (CD-exclusive track)
06 Free Spirit Soar
07 The Bell Tolls
08 Alarm
09 Twin (CD-exclusive track)
10 Revelation XIX

Line Up:
Mark Zonder – Drums
Philip Bynoe – Bass
Eric Juris – Guitars
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Giles Lavery – Vocals

ON-LINE:
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialWarlord

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