|Review: Warhag - Sinister Grip|
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: April 18, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Warhag are part of the new wave of classic metal including bands like Aska and Black Steel. There’s a very NWOBHM sound to this disc, which is cool, but there are some problems here as well.
This stuff is basically in an old-Maiden style, with occasional similarities to Jag Panzer or Manilla Road. The CD kicks off with a bullshit intro, but then "Rage of Angels" starts up and things get good. This is a killer track, with a cool mid-tempo pace and excellent vocals. Singer Kyle Skhortche has a strong midrange voice that’s perfect for this kind of music, though I wouldn’t mind if he put more range in his vocal lines. After the opener Warhag choose to annoy the piss out of you with "Mean Mouth", an incredibly stupid butt-rock song that repeats itself until you want to scream. Ugh. "Into the Castle" gets things going again, even though it’s a slower-paced song. It has a catchy chorus that will stick with you plus some cool riffs. The title track is another annoying cut that has my finger itching for the skip button, too butt-rocky for me. The last track is "Return of the Saxon" which is apparently a new version of a song called "Day of the Saxon" by guitarist Kurt Phillips’ old band Witchkiller. It’s a cool track, very Saxon-esque, oddly enough, with a more german-style metal feel.
My big gripe with this CD is these guys need to fucking rock. The guitar sound on this demo is very weak, and the rhythm guitar is so muted I wonder why they bothered. There is no heavy kick here at all. The good songs here are completely hamstrung by the lack of guitar punch. "Rage of Angels" in particular should be an absolutely killer track, but there’s no metal in it. Seriously, Dokken are heavier.
There’s a lot of potential here, and some really good songs, but Warhag need to turn up the guitars for fucks’ sake. This is supposed to be metal here. If they can write more tunes like "Rage of Angels" and "Into the Castle" (and fewer like "Mean Mouth") and crank up the guitars, then Warhag could produce a worthy album, and I’d sure like to see that.
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