THE WARRIORS- ‘Monomyth’
The Warriors burned bright- In the mid-2000s they blazed a trail through hardcore, releasing four furious albums of fast riffs and fiery grooves over eight years- but then they burned out. After the release of ‘See How You Are’ in 2011, arguably the band’s best record, they seemed to capitulate rather than capitalise and slowly faded away. A damn shame. Now though, and almost from out of nowhere, the California five-piece are back.
Even after this times, little has changed. Insistent opener “All Life Is One” rises from an ominous beginning to big, bruising finish via fist-in-the-air vocals and gnarly guitars, and gets its job done with a familiar intensity and brevity. Then the head-nodding power of “The Painful Truth” and the serpentine riffing of “Iron Mind” is a one-two punch follow-up that, while whip smart, really could have come from any of The Warriors past releases. Not hugely resonant maybe, but nothing feels rehashed, only reliable.
The band still have a wicked way with feedback, almost using it as an instrument in its own right, still emphasise the power of positive thinking in their lyrics, and still maintain their natty line in guest appearances. Where they previously brought in erstwhile members of Comeback Kid, Terror, Sick Of It All, and even Lemmy to help out, here Daryl from Snapcase (man, is it good to hear him yell again) and Winston from Parkway Drive add welcome sonic range.
Admittedly there are some truly new sounds in the mix. Crunchy, bass-heavy electronics bubble and thunder in the mix while spoken word samples and quiet Eastern vibes are allowed space to breathe between the brutality. “Fountain of Euth” even features some eerie, effective clean vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place on the most recent Bring Me The Horizon record. That might not sound like the good, honest hardcore so associated with this band but if anything, these quiet moments give the heaviest stuff better bite.
Ultimately, “Monomyth” isn’t worth the long wait. Despite those new flourishes, it feels like there’s little here that The Warriors didn’t have in them a decade ago. It’s satisfying to hear the band back, armed and dangerous again, but it feels like only existing fans of the band should be excited, not necessarily anyone new.