In 2005, War of Ages impressed many in the hardcore music scene by releasing their epic self-titled debut on Strike First Records. Since its release, War of Ages has had the great privilege to go on tour with several big hardcore bands, such as As I Lay Dying, Throwdown, and Bleeding Through. In early 2007, lead vocalist Leroy Hamp explained on a YouTube video that War of Ages was going to re-record their self-titled debut due to the fact that their production quality was extremely limited the first time around. War of Ages' debut had become a metal masterpiece that lived in my CD player for a long time and I was very curious to find out what the band would do on their re-recording, called Fire From The Tomb. I will mainly be reviewing this re-release and how it differs from the original self-titled release.
While listening to the re-recording, I could tell that the band took their time to flesh out the songs and to bring out more of a hardcore sound than their previous efforts. Fans of As I Lay Dying, All That Remains, and Killswitch Engage will probably notice a little comparison with War of Ages and these bands. The best parts about Fire From The Tomb are that the songs are much longer, the guitar riffs are much heavier, and Leroy's screaming vocals are cleaner than ever. On the bridge to "Stand Your Ground," while Leroy screams, "With every breath and all that I am, I will make a stand right to the end," I noticed that guitarist Steve Brown wanted to capitalize and add a little more on his guitar solos. You will definitely be able to tell that this is the same band we loved so much on the first record. However, because the songs are much longer, the songs seemed to be going at a slower, and very steady, pace. The songs on the debut were very fast and running anywhere from 3 to 4 minutes in length while the re-recorded songs are much slower, running from 4 to 4 ½ minutes. Also, not much has changed musically on this album other than Steve adding to his guitar solos on "Stand Your Ground."
Another great part of this release is that War of Ages added a special bonus track called "The Awakening" to give fans a taste of things to come for their future album. This song is a rough mix of the finished product and it fits in very well with the rest of the tracks. "The Awakening" is mainly a prayer asking God to awaken our spirits and take away our sufferings. Leroy screams out on the chorus, "God I'm on my knees, suffering. Is this all I am? Please, heal my pain. Lift me up. And draw me close to your heart. I can't fail you once again. Your love is what sustains me." This great song makes the future of War Of Ages look very bright.
It is obvious why the band wanted to re-record their first album and I do not blame them for doing so. There was a passion behind their debut and the songs stand out as their best work to date. However, because of the slow pace of the re-recording, it forces me to say that this album is not quite as great as their debut. There is still a lot to like about Fire From The Tomb, and their new bonus track leaves the listener wanting more. "Stand Your Ground" and "Brothers In Arms" are still great Christian metal anthems that will appeal to old fans as well as new ones. Keep your eyes open for War of Ages and catch them on tour when they come to your city.- Review date: 7/28/08, written by Fred Keel of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Periday Records
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