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CD Review: WAR OF AGES – Return To Life

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If there’s one subgenre of metal that has way too many bands to claim, it’s probably metalcore. Nowadays, you really have to be cutting edge, or do the subgenre real justice in order to get real notoriety and fame. If you’ve been out as long as War Of Ages, you probably do stand out from the multitude. But as always, there are exceptions to the rule.

Return To Life is the 7th release from War Of Ages, so I was hoping for something a little more when I was listening to it. Instead, we get very generic metalcore for the entirety of the album. I can’t really find one thing about Return To Life that really stood out to me on a “wow factor” sort of status. Once you get through the first song, “Immortal”, it becomes pretty clear that Return To Life is going to be predictable for the rest of the album. The main riffs for the songs are all ones that we’ve heard millions of times before, quite possibly in the album itself, and are pretty forgettable. Songs like “Psalms” follow the metalcore formula to a tee with occasional clean vocals and a good number breakdown sections. But it’s not just that particular song, lots of other songs are just way too similar to be distinguishing. Not only are the breakdowns similar, but the tempos for most of the songs are either exactly the same, or off by 1 or 2 notches. Having this much similarity between songs melds them all together as if Return To Life is just one long song. And unless you’re a prog metal band, you can’t get away with a half-lour long song. The best descriptive word for Return To Life is merely “boring.”

It’s safe to say this is an album that can be skipped. It’s not going to stand out above the already crowded metalcore scene anytime soon. Return To Life certainly isn’t the worst album I’ve ever heard by any means, but it’s hard to find anything truly great about it. It’s simply not very interesting. You might want to just overlook this one, and perhaps wait for War Of Ages’ next try.


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