Release: November 16, 2018
Warkings made quite a splash on the metal scene when they released the video for “Gladiator” in September 2018, with much speculation as to who these warriors might be and what do they have in store for us. One thing was clear: the music was so darn good it left many of us metalheads wanting more. And we got that with the subsequent singles “Hephaistos” and “Sparta”, and even more when the album “Reborn” came out on November 16.
Fancying themselves warriors from the ancient times – a Roman Tribute, a savage Nordic warrior, a determined Crusader, and a lethal Spartan – the four talented musicians came together to share tales of long forgotten battles and heroes of old, making history come alive. And listening to this album, one really feels like being in the middle of a battle, as the guitar, bass, and drums are relentless in their delivery of fierce sounds, while the vocals either guide you through the war zone or make you pick up a sword and join in the fight. Anthemic and very high-energy, “Reborn” will make the listener headbang to the rhythm, practice air-guitar or sing-along to the extremely catchy vocal melodies, while also delivering some interesting history lessons.
Give em war
Fire falling down
The last battle
Die flut (bonus track)
Generally, there are no great surprises on the album, as what you have heard in the singles, you also get from the rest of the songs, namely power metal anthems with a very epic and bombastic sound to them, superb vocal delivery (by now I think everybody has figured out that we’re hearing Serenity’s Georg Neuhauser, as his silky vocals are a clear give away), and all around excellent musicianship from the rest of the yet-unknown band. Opener “Give em war” and next track “Never surrender” set a very dynamic tone to the album, making the listener feel pumped-up and hungry for more. And this energy is very much kept on a high level throughout the album. Fast paced tracks like “Holy storm”, “Battle cry” or “The last battle” are all about well, battles and the life of a warrior (“Here I stand / all alone, all my brothers dead and gone / I raise my sword to the sky / Hear my battle cry”) and are pretty generic, especially lyric-wise. However, the contrast between the hefty guitars and the velvety vocals is the driving force of “Reborn”. \
But what I think is the strength of this album is the way in which they chose to tell the individual stories. From the third track onward, we get to hear more personal tales, as for instance about the God of fire “Hephaistos”, about the life of a “Gladiator” or about the battle of “Sparta” and the 300 warriors. So you are not only listening to songs that depict battles, but you are also learning about the people that lived in those times. Speaking of “Sparta”, I love the mix of harsh vocals provided by The Butcher from Debauchery (or by the Queen of the Damned, Melissa Bonny, in the music video) and clean vocals, as it adds a very nice dynamic to the song. I can only hope than on the next album they will focus more on such songs, and less on generic battle chants (and don’t get me started on that horrible artwork).
All in all, a strong and lively debut album, with a lot of power and aggression to it. Not necessarily ground-breaking, or innovative in any way, and I don’t think it was set up as anything other than just ‘metal for metal’s sake’. Nonetheless, it’s definitely a lot of fun listening to it, and I don’t see this as a bad thing, especially when the metal is of such great quality. So, horns up and headbang away.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
The Crusader – Steelwing
The Viking – Battle Axe
The Spartan – War Drums
The Tribune – War Chants
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