History is a great source of inspiration for metal bands, some even building rich discographies around such an endless lyrical theme. Among the most notable bands that have brought history to life are SABATON, SERENITY, EX DEO, and LEAVES’ EYES. With anthems that tell tales of long-forgotten heroes and battles, WARKINGS is an exciting addition to the list. Their third album, “Revolution,” was released on August 20th, 2021, through Napalm Records.
Adding a touch of finesse to their thunderous power metal, “Revolution” sees the four ancient warriors delivering what they know best – powerful drums, punchy riffs, catchy melodies, and versatile vocals that make for an all-together richer sound. If the approach to their style has not fundamentally changed from their previous releases, it’s the stories they tell that keep things interesting. This time, the offering is quite varied as WARKINGS sing the praises of such legendary heroes Spartacus and Ragnar, thus going from the arenas of Rome to the Viking camps, stopping again for a short while in ancient Sparta. Apart from these tales, the album also boasts some rocking metal anthems that could potentially wake up your inner warrior.
Arguably the band’s heaviest album to date, “Revolution” offers a relentless downpour of high octane metal fueled by intense guitar work, courtesy of The Crusader (Markus Pohl). The bass lines of The Viking (Chris Rodens) merge with the steady drumming of The Spartan (Steffen Theurer) to create a solid rhythm section. On top of the instrumentals, The Tribune (Georg Neuhauser) shows off his incredible pipes and range by delivering memorable vocal melodies that vary between softer parts and the typical power metal belting-out. To further add to the heavy and lush feel of the album, the band joined forces with The Lost Lord (Chris Harms), whose harsh vocals give “Spartacus” a menacing overtone while the chorus is a genuine crowd-pleaser thanks to the great melodic hook in the phrase “Die for Spartacus!.” As any proper battle hymn, single “Fight” has an equally menacing vibe to it, while “We Are the Fire” embodies all the best WARKINGS has to offer musically, being a catchy, powerful statement of intent capped off by an explosive guitar solo.
There are some oriental/Middle Eastern melodies that give a new flavor to the music, even if they only grace metal anthem “Sparta – Part II” and the closing track, dark power ballad “Where Dreams Die.” These folky tunes pull the tracks in different and colorful directions and the fact that they are put so far apart in the album only enhances their beauty and allure. The trio of songs, “Kill for the King,” “Deus lo Vult,” and “Ave Roma” are true bangers that will have listeners headbanging, playing air guitar, or raising their fists in the air while tapping their foot to the infectious melodies. These songs give the album extra energy and aggression, spearheaded by furious guitars, roaring drums, and resounding vocals. One of the best cuts on “Revolution” is, hands down, “Ragnar,” a mid-tempo track with some folky melodies, a sing-along chorus, and another melodic hook that will enchant listeners in a heartbeat. Fans of the TV series Vikings will especially gravitate to the simple but effective “Hail Ragnar, son of Odin!,” while remembering his adventures exploring new lands. Such a change of pace and tone, as displayed by both “Where Dreams Die” and “Ragnar,” suits WARKINGS really well and provides a welcomed break from their otherwise furious charge.
Devotees of epic power metal should not skip this album, as “Revolution” serves all the main ingredients that make this genre such a big hit with metalheads, from stupidly hooky melodies to soaring vocals and everything else in between. Granted, WARKINGS do not offer anything new or groundbreaking on this record, but the music they present is a bunch of high-energy, enjoyable, and sometimes cheesy anthems and ultimately, this is what counts. They found a formula that suits their needs and are sticking to their guns, as many other bands out there also do.
Here’s to some more interesting history lessons as taught by the most fun teachers around, the mighty WARKINGS.
Written by Andrea Crow
1. We are the Fire
2. Sparta – Part II
5. Kill for the King
6. Deus lo Vult
7. Ave Roma
9. By the Blade
10. Where Dreams Die
The Tribune – Vocals
The Crusade – Guitars
The Spartan – Drums
The Viking – Bass