Warfather is a death metal band featuring legendary Morbid Angel growler Steve Tucker on vocals. “The Grey Eminence” is the band’s second record, and is the perfect record to make you forget that “Illud Divinum Insanus” ever happened. Indeed, you should be excited for Tucker’s return to Morbid Angel because if it is going to sound anything like this album, we’re in for a treat. As you might have guessed, this means that “The Grey Eminence” is an authentic-sounding Morbid Angel record. This goes beyond the vocals too: everything from the spastic, sideways riffs to the chaotic yet insanely tight drumming draws accurate comparisons to Morbid Angel (seriously, the band’s drummer even uses just the right amount of blasting to sound like Pete Sandoval). To be fair to the legacy of Trey Azagthoth, Warfather’s riffs aren’t quite as twisted. They’re certainly executed in a similar manner, as they try to bend your mind with their off-kilter approach, but they’re still a step below the brilliance of “Immortal Rites” or “Rapture”, for example.
Perhaps more important than capturing the general sound of Morbid Angel is the fact that Warfather has written some genuinely catchy songs. On “Orders of the Horde”, Tucker unleashes a line that sounds like “from the silence comes the violence” (it’s impossible to confirm without the lyrics in front of me, but it certainly sounds like that), and it is so insanely catchy that you’ll be screaming along quickly. This is just one of many examples, and it doesn’t stop with the vocals; “Headless Men Can No Longer Speak” manages to be memorable due to the unique rhythmic patterns of one of its most common riffs. The intervals used are those perfected by Morbid Angel, and the result is an incredibly compelling song, bringing back the feeling of a record like “Covenant”. It would be an effort in futility to go through each song and mention what makes a particular track so special because many of them rule immensely. Though the title track, “Grey Eminence”, is deserving of special mention for having one of the weirdest riffs in existence (in a good way!) shortly after the 3-minute mark, which ends up dominating much of the rest of the song. Similarly, the methodical and bludgeoning “Heedless Servant” is absolutely crushing!
Warfather is a great band because they appropriately add to the legacy created by Morbid Angel. Like it or not, Morbid Angel is by no means a consistent band, and they don’t have as many great records as some of their peers, but when they’re on, they knock it out of the park. Warfather’s “The Grey Eminence” can stack up against numerous Morbid Angel releases, and even though Azagthoth and Sandoval might not be featured on this record, Tucker and the remaining band members have mastered this particular sound. For that reason, “The Grey Eminence” is a record that will receive equally as many listens as “Domination” or “Gateways to Annihilation” from me!
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“Orders of the Horde”
4.4/5 or 88%.