by Tom Faddis
War of Ages are releasing their eighth album on Strike First, their newest venture, Alpha. The band’s lineup has changed a bit since their last outing, with them adding another new bassist and replacing long time drummer Alex Hamp. However, the three returning members, founders Leroy Hamp and Steve Brown, along with Jack Daniels, form a strong core. Guitarist Daniels continues to add a lot to the bands overall sonic cohesiveness with Alpha. This album contains ten songs that have the members in top-form. The band is: Leroy Hamp – lead vocals, Steve Brown – guitar, Kaleb Luebchow – drums, Jack Daniels – guitar and Andy Cutrell – bass guitar and vocals. With a focus on strong melodies and Hamp’s clean lead vocals, the band has spent time crafting these tunes to a bright polish. This is Christian metalcore at its finest!
The opener is “Creator,” with a dual guitar riff chugging under Hamp’s vocals, the band makes it clear they are keeping things heavy. The chorus is melodic, and Hamp changes his vocal quality to a clean melodic format. The guitar solo is first-rate followed by a nice interlude that releases the tension just for a moment, but then the bands jumps right back to glorious metalcore!
“Fullness” starts off with a strong rock vibe that is quickly turned into a fast metalcore riff that will grab you up by the collar and demand your attention. The band delivers another melodic chorus with memorable depth, excellent guitar soloing and shifting sections and feels. The track seamlessly switches between moments of rock and metalcore elements. The guitar work is prodigious throughout this album and is clearly becoming a signature element for the War of Ages sound.
War of Ages continues to build their catalog of great riffs, strong singing and exceptional songwriting. With powerful melodic chorus’ and thick metalcore chunking, they know when to get heavy and when to lighten up a bit in service of the tune, and I mean just a bit! As expected with War of Ages, the lyrics remain spiritually focused throughout Alpha. It’s nice to see that even though the music is evolving, the message is staying clear and true, and squarely focused on the metalcore sound!
Tracks to sample first: “Creator,” “Repentance,” and “Cut Throat.” The song to take a chance on is “Warrior”.