August 31, 2011

Music Review: Warfear - 4 Left Dead/Addicted to Trioxin

Warfear hails from New York and are an up and coming act on the metal circuit. I happened to run into the band's vocalist, Shawn, at the recent Monster Mania horror convention in Cherry Hill, NJ. Now, the music they play and the subjects they choose are a perfect fit for a horror convention, but the music was only a secondary concern for him as he manned a table in the expansive vendor room. You see, he also makes horror movie standees as the man behind Kneehigh Horror. Very cool items, I picked up one for Demons and plan on more down the road. However, convention time is over and now we take a look at his other endeavor, heavy music!

This album is a combination of two EPs. They are 4 Left Dead and Addicted To Trioxin. Reading those titles, does it clarify my earlier saying their music was perfect for a horror convention? If not, it should. You see, the second EP is an eight song homage to the classic horror comedy Return of the Living Dead! How perfect is that? The music style could be described as Death metal, Hardcore, Punk, and even Grindcore. Despite so many potential labels, I cannot say it feels like a crossover. Quite the opposite actually, it plays pretty straight up. It is in your face and aggressive and I can picture it providing some fine pit churning action.

4 Left Dead is the more straight up of the two albums and clearly the older one. The six tracks making up the collection provide some nice heavy riffs and raw vocals that make my throat hurt just listening to them. As good as some of the stuff is, I cannot say it struck me as anything particularly special. In my experience it is the sort of stuff you like and don't write off because it is clearly the work of a developing band. They certainly know what style they want to play, but when it comes to executing originality, it just isn't quote there yet.

Do not get me wrong, this is the stuff of promise. It is a bit rawer than what I usually go for, but I still like it. In particular I liked the opening track, "The Horde." Warfear demonstrates the raw talent and energy of a band hungry for more. They are betrayed a bit by less than stellar mixing/production, but that is to be expected on independently produced recordings on a budget, nothing to be held against the band.

As "Tank!!!" puts 4 Left Dead to bed, the two EP set takes a turn. Addicted to Trioxin kicks of with "Brains!!!" and the difference is immediately noticeable. There is a step up I'm production quality, and an overall more refined style of music. It is still heavy and ready to leap from the speakers to rip your throat out, but it is tighter, more focused, and just overall better.

This opening cut as a great mid tempo grind that features dialogue clips from Return of the Living Dead interspersed with heavier faster moments of the band going at full clip. That is followed by the title track which again shows define growth in the band from the prior release.

This is a style of music where I rarely understand what they are saying, but it doesn't really bother me. It all fits together as a piece of the puzzle and it just works. The band has certainly come a long way in the development of their sound. There is a crispness to their sound. It is still rough, raw, and feels like they recorded it all in one take in the studio, so do not worry about any loss of metal cred. If nothing else Warfear is all about heavy horror music. I can only imagine the chaos this could cause live.

Like I mentioned, this is not my preferred style, it leans a touch much to the punk side for me to truly love it, but this is still a highly listenable band, particularly on the Trioxin EP. There is never enough horror themed music, I mean the only one that comes to mind with some similar material is The Misfits.

Overall, I look forward to what these guys will release down the line. I am hoping hey continue along he path demonstrated here and stick with the horror themed release. Perhaps they could look to other classic horrors like Demons or City of the Living Dead for inspiration. Whatever he case, if you like heavy music, be sure to look these guys up! (Now to get the up Poughkeepsie, NY, maybe they could get on a bill at The Chance? You could probably sell some Kneehigh Horror, too...)

You can visit the band at


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