Review: War of Ages – Fire from the Tomb

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Label: Facedown Records

Released: July 24, 2007

This is not an entirely new album, nor is it a re-issue. Rather, it’s a re-recording of War of Ages’ first album with a bonus track. I hadn’t heard the original recording, but the band felt it didn’t do the songs justice and opted to take another shot. If the recording quality was truly an issue, then they certainly had reason to release this, because the sound quality is excellent and the songs for the most part are intricate enough to warrant good production.

Fire from the Tomb doesn’t rewrite the rules of hardcore, but they do put a particularly technical spin on it. While the vocals stick to the standard guttoral growl, the rest of the music carries War of Ages at times into the realm of the hardcore elite. The tight, brutal rhythm section sets a pace varied and creative enough to keep the songs fresh. The two-guitar attack provides both chunky rhythm as well as some downright beautiful melodic leads. Occasionally, the album does get bogged down with a song that can’t seem to rise above generic, flat hardcore, but those instances are clearly an exception.

Lyrically, the band relies on many of the stalwarts of hardcore imagery: battle, strength, solitude, pride, brotherhood; but they also express a more personal (though by no means emo) side related particularly to their Christian faith. Many “positive” bands have a tendency to become preachy, expressing a black and white, fundamentalist view of the world. War of Ages steers clear of this, dealing more with their struggles and, when they do point the finger, it’s at other “Christians” who fail to be true and thereby fuel anti-Christian arguments. This resonates with me as a Christian, but also has the potential to do the same with non-Christians and that’s something that few bands with these intense feelings (on any side in the spectrum of religion, atheist to devout) can accomplish.

Fire from the Tomb puts War of Ages very close to the top of the hardcore game and gives them enough crossover appeal that they should have a significant fan base in the metal camp as well. With their second shot at these songs, they’ve created a record that is brutal and occasionally even beautiful.

Rating: 7/10

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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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