WARKINGS are a four-piece heavy/power metal band that, by the looks of it, were created by their label Napalm Records in 2018, as they were immediately introduced to the public with a debut album called “Reborn” in the same year, published by the aforementioned prestigious label. The group consists of vocalist Tribune who was revealed as Georg Neuhauser of SERENITY and three unknown musicians, Crusader on guitars, Viking on bass, and Spartan on drums. Two years after the release of their debut, the band is now back with another studio album, simply titled, “Revenge,” released on 31 July 2020, via Napalm Records.
Personally, I found it quite exciting to learn there is another war-themed power metal act on the impressive roster of Napalm Records. The new songs are quite simple and straightforward, like any power metal songs should be. The vocals are perfect, choruses and melodies are catchy, the sound is as sharp and precise as it can be, and the instrumentation is flawless. The album is packed with singalong choruses and parts that are obviously meant to be real headbangers live. Georg Neuhauser nails every single part professionally – he really is a perfect voice for any kind of heavy/power metal music, and even the increasingly popular Melissa Bonny (AD INFINITUM, MALEFISTUM, RAGE OF LIGHT) makes a charming guest appearance (“Odin’s Sons”) on growled vocals as Queen of the Damned. Nothing’s here is by chance, no unbridled creativity running freely, all we hear is all a result of a precisely planned progress of work.
However, to put it simply, WARKINGS are a gimmick. There is nothing wrong with that, as I’ve always personally been a dedicated consumer of cheesy power metal bands and this is what drew me to WARKINGS in the first place. In terms of being a gimmick, I expected a fun experience akin to GLORYHAMMER, POWERWOLF, or NANOWAR OF STEEL, while the whole “war metal” theme promised a great addition to shine next to my collection of SABATON, MANOWAR, and HAMMERFALL. I’m honestly sad to admit that I was let down on both accounts and simply still can’t decide if this group was meant to belong in the first group or the latter.
The problem really is that there’s not much to write about the music. I’ve listened to this album conscientiously from the first note to the last many times for many days, but just couldn’t find any aspect of the music that would simply hook me, or for that matter, any kind of special quality that makes WARKINGS truly a unique, fun, engaging experience to listen to. Every single note here is incredibly generic, as if some kind of an artificial intelligence took care of the songwriting based on the most prominent performers in the genre. Even the song titles and the lyrics sound like the work of an automated power metal lyrics generator: “Freedom,” “Warriors,” “Odin’s Sons,” “Mirror, Mirror,” or the self-titled “Warking” just to mention a few. While the band could easily take advantage of this and give it a twist with an obvious sarcastic approach, it just turned out to be plainly boring.
The way I see it right now, WARKINGS is yet to find their place on the metal palette and commit themselves to being either an absolutely serious power metal band that sing about war and history, or embrace being a gimmick and have fun. Their music works pretty well for a serious band, but I’d personally go with the latter because that means more fun and cheerful moments for me as a listener. Right now, they just don’t seem to satisfy my need for cheese nor have they reached the glorious level of how the serious bands of the genre impress me. Perhaps I’m just not the target audience for this band, so I’ll warmly recommend that listeners give this album a spin and make up their own minds.
Written by Árpi Fejes
- Fight in the Shade
- Odin’s Sons
- Banners High
- Mirror, Mirror
- Battle of Marathon
Tribune – Vocals
Crusader – Guitars
Viking – Bass
Spartan – Drums
Melissa Bonny as Queen of the Damned – Growled Vocals (track 5)