War Agenda Night of Disaster 01As this year comes ever-closer to its conclusion, I couldn’t help but pull up last year’s picks for Records and Song ‘o the Year. It didn’t quite dawn on me that there isn’t a thrash album to be found on my list. In the grand scheme of things, this is not surprising being with the old-farts producing some real turds and the newbies re-hashing the old-fart’s classics. The year, however, harbors some thrash threatening to invade my end-of-the-year picks. Trials new opus was simply grand and Reign of Fury‘s addicting “Death Be Thy Shepherd” is the one track I have spun more than any other this year. And now another thrash band popped out of nowhere and seems determined to duke it out with Reign of Fury. Approaching the genre from a different angle than the upbeat Metallica-meets-Anthrax delivery of Reign of Fury, War Agenda fuses Slayer, Death Angel, Exodus, and Warbringer; resulting in a sucker-punch to the face and a declaration of war on the world. At first glance this appears to be standard warfare but it’s full of thrashtastic spirit and is home to some of the most satisfying gems my thrash-hungry ears have heard in some time.

“Geocide,” “Sentenced,” and “Destiny of a Mad Man” are – simply put – ballbusters. The first opens up with some ripping guitars, exaggerated on every strum by Hamdi’s kicks. Marsel’s vocals add to the devastation with his mix of Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Zetro Souza (Exodus), and John Kevill (Warbringer), which drop like a missile on the rest of the instrumentation. The chorus is unbelievably catchy and Marsel’s loud shouts of “geocide!” are impossible to resist. “Sentenced” is a straightforward bulldozer with riffs taken straight from Kreator‘s “Hordes of Chaos” that transform into stellar Slayer-isms that encapsulate fist-clenching screams and the back-and-forth vocal contributions from Marsel and The Prophecy23‘s  Johannes Klopprogge. The chorus is memorable, even if guest vocals standout a bit too much. Approaching from the rear, “Destiny of a Mad Man” tip-toes in like eerie ’86 Slayer before quickly erupting on your doorstep. After slithering through the main verse, the Slayer-esque staccatos of the chorus are further exaggerated by Marsel’s sharp, emphasizing barks. The song ascends and descends through its mid-section before swinging back around to admire the carnage it generated. With a wry smile, the outro trots away to a rhythm that even Reign in Blood would be pleased to call its own (because it almost is) [Copycatless!Steel Druhm].

Other happy moments come from opener “Shot to Pieces” (with its charging riffs and Death Angel-meets-Testament bully shouts) and “Gone But Never Forgotten.” The latter is best described as a Big Four collaboration track. Tom Araya on vox, Gary Holt delivering chunky Exodus triplets, and Kirk Hammett showing up toward the end to contribute some wah-wah solo work. The soloing isn’t as good as some of the guitar theatrics found on tracks like “Axis of Evil,” but it still seems to work. Tracks that don’t work as well would have to be the Testamental “The Wait” (with Marsel taking on some Dave Mustaine laziness in his performance) and “Mosh;” a typical every-thrash-band-must-have-a-mosher-number. Neither are snoozers but they really aren’t attention grabbers.

War Agenda Night of Disaster 02

As for the production, it’s what you would expect; loud and compressed. But the guitars are fucking tight and Marsel’s voice is a sultry expression of anger and rebellion. It just fits the music perfectly. Unfortunately, the bass and kit get buried in the mix with the guitars and vocals leading the charge. In fact, the drums don’t sound very good at all. They lack the umph and crispness needed to propel the music, and where they are needed in the beginning of the opener and “Geocide,” they become muffled by six-stringed chaos. In the end, this a fun album that represents another good, old-fashioned offering from the past. These German thrashers keep it simple and all about the Almighty Riff. Though I find myself skipping the occasional track on Night of Disaster, the ones I do step on are fucking land mines.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Self Release
Websites: waragenda.bandcamp.com | waragenda.de | facebook.com/waragenda
Releases Worldwide: October 9th, 2015

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  • First El Cuervo poaches my barbarian and now this?? The Law must be restored to these parts.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      These are Mad Max times. The law is broken.

    • Dr. Scorpion

      Evolve.Else ensues extinction.

      • I’m a metal dinosaur.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Cool and kvlt if that’s a compound noun. If a noun phrase, not so much.

          • [not a Dr]

            Kvvlt?

        • [not a Dr]

          A metal dinosaur would make an awesome album cover.
          Especially if it’s riding a tank with a sword in a claw and a sphere in the other.

  • BTW, this may be my favorite album cover this year.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Seriously? Better than Ironsword’s?

      • Yep! Tank beats barbarian.

        • You wot m8?

          But the SPHERES!

    • SelfIndulgence

      Cool cover, but I am more impressed to see silent Bob in the band.

      • [not a Dr]

        Silent Bob wouldn’t have been my first pick for a singer…

    • You wot m8?

      Really? There aren’t even any spheres on this one!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Check out Fallen Angels ‘Rise from the Ashes’ art, it’s the best old school war scene album cover this year!

    • Kronos

      But it’s so… shitty.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Nice walkthrough of the songs. I thought this would be a 3.5 at least, but I guess there’re some duds and some that hit home.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Yeah, it’s just that. Some hard hitters but overall not quite up to 3.5 (for me anyway). But still a good album.

  • Pimpolho

    Thank you for reminding me of Reign of Fury, it’s the best re-trash album i have heard in a long time. This one is really good, if not for the dynamics. Great review, doc. I feel like i say this in every single one of your reviews, but it’s not my fault they are so good!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Yeah, I am in love with the Reign of Fury album. I still listen to that thing multiple times a week.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Death Be Thy Shepherd is great. Awesome vocals and guitar work. You can’t go wrong with the doctor’s prescriptions.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        Seriously. That fucking album and THAT song.

  • Wilhelm

    The mastering sucks, this really hurts any attempt at thrash metal – I don’t care how good the songs are.

  • You wot m8?

    I generally can’t stand thrash. However, I find this oddly listenable.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      What?! I mostly grew up with it so I have a soft spot for it.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I have yet to listen to any Thrash metal released after 1990 that doesn´t make me want to go and listen to some Thrash metal released before 1990.

    • Gabriel PérezMolphe

      Actually when I readed AMG saying doom is a retro trend and a Druhm piece about wath was wrong with black metal (I read a lot of old posts and reviews) I was thinking about how that was not addressed towards thrash and power metal.

      • Well, from my perspective at least, black metal was more stagnant when I wrote that piece while the re-thrash scene was still performing decently. Since then, black metal has gotten more interesting and weird, while thrash hasn’t, so you have a valid point there. Power metal is power metal and kind of exists in its own pirate-beshirted bubble.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Power metal and Doom metal are about upholding tradition. They are difficult genres to pull off well because they rely on execution rather than innovation. Thus it becomes really hard to make something that sounds fresh while still being faithful to the template.

    • Mr T

      Ah. Then I have something for you that will blow your mind – Vektor

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Vektor is great. But I still end up listening to Voivod.

    • [not a Dr]

      When I hear Shot To Pieces, it makes me want to “DO! the Toxic Waltz!”

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I see you understand what I mean.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    hmmm not sure about this one I’ll give it a go … but now that you’ve reminded me, Reign of Fury I wanted to check that out but did’t get round to it. Satan (the band not actual satan) has my retro juices flowing andI’m making a playlist for a long drive coming up this week think I’ll add them in.

    How’s this sound, for a soundtrack to belting through the countryside in a hot tin can.
    Set to shuffle – Enforcer, From Beyond / Satan, Atom by Atom / Sodom, Agent Orange / Trials, This Ruined World / Ride the Lightning / Book of Souls / Witchfinder General, Death Penalty / Hell Awaits
    + Reign of Fury

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      In a hot tin can…? Not bad at all. Mostly…

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        I’ve only got 6 hrs so I might have to drop Book of Souls :)

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Good thinking.

  • Philip Pledger

    “Copycatless” made me laugh so hard I nearly woke my roommate. Great review as always.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Classic Druhm!

  • robpal

    Hey AMG, are you planning to review some of the proggy “big” names coming out this week — Caligula’s Horse, Zierler? Or Enshine?

    • Caligula’s Horse and Enshine will get some coverage at least.

      • robpal

        Great. And I’ll let you know if Zierler is any good. Damn, I missed Beyond Twilight!

  • Worldeater

    What the hell? Why and how did i miss the review of Reign of Fury back in march? Band camp detention class here I come!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Do it!

  • FrancoNero

    Great album