Updated: Dec 17, 2020
It's been a hot minute since we did a music review on justplainfilthy.com but what better way to get back into it then with our boys from Maine, the hardcore band War Criminal and their latest release "God Failed Me"
Right off the bat this EP starts off with a bang with possibly one of the heaviest intros I've heard in the last decade titled "113". Tribalesque drums lead in the first track only to be accompanied by loud guitars about 8 seconds later. I got flashbacks to "Wreck /Worms & Dirt" by Homewrecker and could visualize the mayhem that could ensue. This was a great way to set the tone for the EP as it beats you down from the start and prepares you for 4 more tracks of equal viciousness.
The second track "False Hope" is intense from start to finish. Beginning with a vibe similar to Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" then transitioning to that hardcore sound War Criminal is known for. "False Hope" stayed pretty static once the drumroll subsided but kicked it into fourth gear once the words "I didn't fail god, god failed me" were yelled. The ending to the song literally made me mess up my arm moshing in my living room so I see that as a win.
As we get to the third track off this release "No Way Out", it starts off sounding like a WWE theme song, but me being a wrestling fan I had no problems with it. Once the vocals came into the mix and you got to the full sound it quickly became my favorite track off the release due to cynical relatable lyrics with the guitars and fast drums keeping that angry energy throughout the track leading up to the breakdown at 1min 21 sec mark a little more than halfway through the song. Let me me tell you once that shit hits it will put an immediate stank face on you. This is definitely up there in my top 5 breakdowns of 2020. If the intro to the EP beat you down, than this track curb stomped you musically. So good.
Now with Track four "Smile Lines", I'll be honest with you, there wasn't anything special that stood out. Yes, it was a good song but to me it served as merely a long transtion to the fifth track, the last track on the release "Unforgiving". Which is smart because you introduce the audience to all these new songs that they haven't heard and hit them with the single you've been plugging at the end. "Unforgiving" is a great ending point for this release because not only is it the longest song of the EP but it is also the catchiest. Instrumentally it leads in with a real dark feel and quickly slaps you in the teeth with a faster paced approach than the rest of the EP. The track is just vicious lyrically, is it instrumentally with lyrics talking about choking out fakes, liars and rats as well as pissing on peoples grave.
In my eyes this entire ep is structured just like a set would be for a lot of performance and I don't know if they had this in mind from the get go but it's a real smart way to get the listeners through the EP easily without losing interest. Start off with the instrumental intro to get the crowd pumped, Hit em with a banger next and a heavy ass song 3rd so they know what you're about, Slowly taper down to reserve energy for the later song nd hit them with a stone cold stunner in the end to fish them off. While some bands put out a 15 track album and cause you to pause it half way through so you don't get burnt out, War Criminal picked their style and murdered it 5 times on this EP giving you something worthy of replay after replay.
Over all and im gonna get real specific on numbers here, I'd give it a 7.9. I loved it. Deff check out this album as well as The rest of their catalog.
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