Wage War just released their second album ‘Deadweight’ and a lot of people are claiming it’s the album of the year. This year is going to be an especially tough one but it’s definitely up there. Wage War is the epitome of metalcore and they have the formula down perfectly without sounding like they’re following one. I could listen to their breakdowns forever and they do a good job of making them all different. Briton’s screams are powerful and the way he mixes in a couple highs with his lows helps switch things up. His transitions are especially cool; every once in a while he starts off with a low and ramps it up to a raspy high scream. Briton’s BLEGH’s are also some of my favorite. The cleans are great too and the best thing about them is that it doesn’t feel like they’re on a timer. What I mean is that they aren’t predictable and aren’t confined to only existing in the chorus.
-One of the things that stands out on ‘Deadweight’ is the nu metal influences. Some have more than others but we got a taste of it with the “Stitch” single. In my mind, “Stitch” is this album’s version of “The River” from their last album. It doesn’t have any cleans, the song structure is similar, and the build up with the talking to the final breakdown is exactly how it happened on “The River”. Personally I think it’s great; “The River” was one of my favorites from ‘Blueprints’ and “Stitch” lives up to it pretty well.
-The cleans in “Witness” remind me a lot of the cleans from a band called Bury Tomorrow which is great. The way he turns them into harsher cleans at the end is fun too. The flow of the screams in “Witness” stands out a lot to me and it has one of my favorite fast paced breakdowns on the album.
-“Deadweight” has a part at 1:30 that sounds exactly like the instrumentals from a Slipknot song (especially the drums).
-“Gravity” is the softest song on the album. Sort of has an acoustic feel and then transitions into including softer yells.
-One of the things Wage War does well that is missing in a lot of metalcore is that they play fast. The start of “Never Enough” and parts of “Indestructible” are good examples. Think back to albums like ‘Messengers’ from August Burns Red. That album goes full speed the entire time. We need more of that and Wage War is giving it to us.
-The cleans in “Indestructible” are some of my favorites on the album. I think a lot of people will overlook it on their first couple listens, but I think it’s one of the best ones on the album.
-“Disdain” is the most nu metal song on the album. Everything about it screams Slipknot and it’s amazing. Briton even sounds like Corey Taylor at some points. There’s even a part that sounds like it’s exactly covering “The Heretic Anthem” and I’m not complaining. It’s like if Slipknot started having breakdowns and who hasn’t dreamt of that.
-“Johnny Cash” is probably going to be the most popular song in the long run (at least out of the ones that weren’t singles). The transition between soft parts and heavy parts cutting in reminds me of “Deathgrip” by Fit For A King and they do it extremely well. The emotions in this one shine through the most and is such a strong suit for Wage War. It’s great that it’s so unique but I’d love to see more stuff like this from them in the future.