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Review: Warlord - Free Spirit Soar
Free Spirit Soar

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2024
Duration: 47:11
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: June 26, 2024
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.83/5 (76.67%) (12 Votes)

Warlord are such an odd band, as they have existed as almost the musical equivalent of vaporware for better than forty years. This is a band with a constantly rotating lineup who are mostly known for the impact their 1983 EP Deliver Us made on the scene, and they have been chasing that high ever since. The band has managed to produce—as of now—five (ish) full-length albums in between long periods of inactivity, all the while constantly cranking out compilations and re-recordings of their lauded early songs, never quite living up to that initial potential. This new album is made even more complicated by the death of founder/songwriter/guitarist William Tsamis in 2021, making it an open question as to whether any further works can be said to be in any way authentic. Only the presence of original drummer and percussion godling Mark Zonder lends this any kind of legitimacy.

Push past all that, this is a decent album. New guitarists Diego Pires and Eric Juris don't have Tsamis's ear for riffs, but they do good work here. New singer Giles Lavery is just kind of adequate, and I spent a lot of this album's running time waiting for him to bust out and really wail, but his performance is too restrained for me. The music here touches on that heavily melodic vibe Warlord were known for, and songs like "The Rider" come close to that kind of haunting feel of the classic stuff, but even when the guitar melodies are top-notch, the vocal lines are not memorable, when they are not just bad.

So this is a decent album, with some great guitar playing paired with lackluster vocals and often poor vocal melodies. Zonder is very much in the background here, not really showing his technicality, and it feels like anyone could have played drums on this. This isn't an insult to the Warlord name or anything, but then it doesn't really sound much like Warlord anyway. I feel like they should just let the band die at this point. It's over, close the book and move on.

See below for more reviews and interviews... ↓
More about Warlord...
Review: Deliver Us (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Free Spirit Soar (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Free Spirit Soar (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with guitarist Bill Tsamis on December 8, 2013 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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