Warbell – Ruin EP

Warbell – Ruin EP
Self-Released
01/04/24
Running Time: 18:05
Review by Oli Gonzalez
8/10

Many a great word can be uttered about Poland and the sheer depth of talent that has been bred in the country. Whether it’s acts such as Decapitated or Behemoth that regularly appear on festival lineups in the UK, Europe, or the world over, or those earlier in their journey. Melodic death metal act Warbell find themselves in a midground, having multiple albums to their name, appeared on stages in 10 different countries, and other impressive accolades to on their resume. Having recently released the “Ruin” EP, this will act as an introduction to the band for me. How will it compare to the aforementioned artist’s work? 

First thoughts, 18 minutes is a great length, with 5 songs providing the necessary window to peer into the work of Warbell without inducing the listener fatigue that comes from longer albums. 

From the first few notes, it’s clear to me who Warbell are and what they’re all about. I’m picking up on a Bolt Thrower vibe; every strike of the guitar strings in the opening to ‘Citadels Of The Sixth House’ creates an atmosphere of dissonance, and unrest…and it’s wonderful! I love it. There seems to be a no nonsense approach to the composition here. Simple yet brutally effective riffs designed for maximum impact and efficiency. Riffs that will have you head banging away in appreciation. 

Much like fellow countrymen Hate, Batushka, and Behemoth, Warbell have opted for an approach to extreme metal that emphasises solid grooves and a solid rhythmic foundation. That’s not to say they can’t play fast; they can and do so very well. For example, during ‘Fight Back’ and ‘Parasite’. This is the kind of tempo that will surely incite the most intense of mosh pits whenever they hit the stage. 

Vocally, I find this interesting. The vocalists provide a wonderful contrast and complement each other one another. Well, I assumed it was two vocalists…and how wrong I was. For you see, Karolina handles all vocal duties and does so incredibly well! ‘Parasite’ is perhaps the best example of this, seamlessly shifting from warm soothing cleans to consistently fierce guttural growls as deep as the very depths of hell from which they were summoned! This is impressive. As impressive as her cleaner vocals in ‘Melancholical’, making me draw comparisons to Jinjer’s seminal track ‘Pisces’. As a side note, check out the band’s video for ‘Parasite’; it’s nice to see a band put in some effort to produce a quality video (I think I’ve watched it maybe 3 times in the time it’s taken me to write this sentence!)!

With this being said, I do worry that the production lets the album down a little bit vocally, with Karolina’s vocals maybe sitting too high in the mix at times and threatening to drown out the musicians. A very easy fix though. On the subject of production, it’s a respectable effort but I don’t feel it’s really bringing out the best of all the instruments, and lacks some sharpness and crispness. Again, something that can certainly be fixed. 

Let’s end on a high though. That guitar solo in ‘Melancholical’. My eyes widened like saucers the moment the very first note burst through my headset and into my ears! Kamil knows his way round the pedal board and can craft a tone that is as scorching as it is blistering!

Overall, a very pleasing effort and welcome introduction to the band. Will “Ruin” provide the necessary platform to launch their career further and to the level of the genre heavyweights from their home country? The EP certainly will enhance their reputation no doubt, and with some refinement on their next release, we can provide a more definitive answer to this hypothetical question. 

TRACKLISTING:
01. Citadels Of The Sixth House
02. Fight Back
03. City of Sin
04. Parasite
05. Melancholical

LINE-UP:
Karolina – Vocals
Pawel – Bass
Kamil – Guitar
Bartosz – Drums

LINKS:

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