AGNOSTIC FRONT: WARRIORS (2007)
1) Addiction; 2) Dead To Me; 3) Outraged; 4) Warriors; 5) Black And Blue; 6) Change Your Ways; 7) For My Family; 8) No Regrets; 9) Revenge; 10) We Want The Truth; 11) By My Side; 12) Come Alive; 13) All These Years; 14) Forgive Me Mother; 15) Break The Chains.
Matt Henderson is out again, but the «metalcore» stuff is still in, nurtured by new guitarist Joseph James, whose playing is able to keep the band at a respectable level, but does not bring in any interesting individuality. They may have earned the right to call themselves «warriors», but, the way my ears perceive them, they still keep fighting in the 3rd Clone Division.
But this time around, they are also nostalgic clones. The single 'For My Family' does nothing if not tug at the feelings of the hardcore crowds around 1982, targeted at those few survivors who are still able to recall those days of hard drink, heavy sweat, grizzly tattoos, and pulsating hatred for The Oppressors with fondness rather than embarrassment. Musically, it is every bit as forgettable as everything else on here, but at least its silliness is somewhat touching — in a way, almost sentimental, with the appropriate correction as to what may constitute «sentiment» when we're talking Roger Miret and Vinnie Stigma.
Other than that, Miret's vocals are a little less rough this time. For Another Voice, he had made every effort to sing like a retarded piece of scum with serious larynx problems; on Warriors, he sounds like a retarded piece of scum who has just undergone successful clinical treatment for laryngitis. (To prevent libel suits, I am not insinuating or implying anything, merely laying out subjective impressions in the exact particular order that they are overflowing my mind). Unfortunately, he still is not singing, screaming, or spitting out anything I'd ever like to hear again.
No change in musical values, either. No solos, no unexpected musical trickery, just textbook metallic riffage that may only sound enticing to those who believe that thrash metal was invented by Municipal Waste — or to those who piss their pants from happiness every time they hear a metal line, no matter how old, simple, or «hollow», flash past their senses at jet plane speed. Thumbs down for all that — and for the stupid album sleeve in particular. (I'm not saying I feel any happier about all those Nazi-themed covers from yesteryears, though, but at least they were direct and intentional offenses against taste — Warriors-style imagery is simply cheap).