There is something invigorating and healthy about being accosted with visceral sonic spattering and rhythmic brutality, especially when it is unleashed with a technical tenacity and dexterity which grips the imagination. Such a striking infestation is God Of Zombies from Italian metallers Warmblood. The album is a delicious adventure of sinew shredding barbarism and senses searing viciousness with the tendency to simultaneously seduce with rich melodic flames and unpredictable invention. It is a wrath of melodic death metal riding the hostility of thrash and temptation of groove metal into a blood drenched terrain of decay and ravenous intent. Oh, it is also one thoroughly compelling and impressive assault too.
Warmblood began in 2002, founded by vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Capra and drummer Elena Carnevali. Soon expanding to a trio with bassist Ivan Marconi, the band released a demo the following year. It was in 2009 that debut album Necrocosmos Destination was set free on the world, the time between releases seeing second guitarist Davide Mazzoletti join the Lodi band but Marconi leave. Deciding to continue as a threesome without a bassist, the band continued earning attention and praise for their live performances across shows and festival appearances, with their first album drawing a keen spotlight at home and further afield. A year later the band signed with Punishment 18 Records and released second full-length Timor Mortis. Inspired by the films of Lucio Fulci, it showed further evolution and hungry invention in the band’s sound. Supported by shows with bands such as Asphyx, Infernal War, Kraanium, Antropofagus, Psychofagist, and Blasphemer, the well-received encounter awoke stronger attention upon the band. Now with the release of God Of Zombies through Spew Records (Punishment 18), it is easy to expect the broadest recognition coming Warmblood’s way.
Opening on the portentous apocalyptic Intro (Zombie Genesi), an dramatically orchestrated instrumental piece soaked in menace, the album flies headlong into ears with Post Mortem Transfiguration, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation from its first breath. Equally there is a tantalising sonic endeavour coating the tempest, scorched melodic temptation which sparks the imagination ready for the full weight and brutality of the song. Driven by pestilential gut wrenching vocals, the track smothers and infects with toxic intensity. Every syllable comes with a dose of festering ire and decay whilst the trash seeded thrust of the song is as rabid as it is uncompromising. Entwining that though is an invention of sonic intrigue and enterprise which spellbinds in its skill and adventure. It is a hellacious and exhilarating start to the album and only matched by its successor.
Contagium Escalation consumes ears with an even more hostile and urgent predation before honing a heavily thumping stride from which eruptions of malice and invention snare attention. It is not as easily flowing as its predecessor but still a captivating maelstrom of technical skill and inflamed agitation. Though the band has no bassist, there is a heavy tone which at times is hard to define whether it is bred from four strings or a baritone guitar but relentlessly gives tracks a richer ravenous shadow and depth, as shown by Eucharist Dead Flesh. Swaggering with a thrash seeded intimidation and energy, the song is a hostile flirtation, teasing and tearing the senses with its cantankerous and scarring scythes of sound and malevolence, an attack at times swathed in some quite delicious melodic ingenuity. It is a blistering treat of a violation but only the start of an extended new plateau breached by the album.
The next up Unfaithful Celebrant immediately and virulently entices with its rolling beats before sultry grooves salaciously bind rhythms and passions with their flirty designs. The track writhes with tempestuous persuasion, grooves an irresistible and twisted temptation amongst which a low slung growl adds its own enticement as beats unload their spears with composed yet violent intent. It is a glorious and inescapably addictive creative fury, the pinnacle of the album and alone bait to ensure Warmblood comes under the radar.
Both the thrash fuelled title track with its melodic familiarity and the ruggedly feisty Replaced by Death keep thoughts and emotions fired up, the first an evolving landscape of sonic colour and swinging hooks which is as evocatively restrained as it is furiously uncompromising. The second of the two is more of an unrelenting predator than the previous proposition but still prone to releases of exceptional melodic and skilled enterprise which seamlessly merges into the raw causticity and intensive provocation of the track. Vocally too persuasion is an instant slavery, the bestial yet seriously infectious tones of Capra an unending nightmare you only want to immerse deeper into, much as the album itself.
Culmination of Final Transformation is arguably the least hostile encounter upon God Of Zombies but one of the most engaging with its thick weave of melodic and sonic drama whilst the following Zombinferno is the last chapter to the demise of the album’s narrative. Opening with a vintage cinematic sample, the track explodes into prime rock ‘n’ roll whilst its death metal toned flanks ripple with animosity and a merciless rhythmic badgering is without brakes in speed and malice.
Closing with Ite Missa Est, a peace restoring of guitar sculpted instrumental beauty, God Of Zombies is corrosively spellbinding. It has a familiarity to it at times but just as thick originality across it too which makes it trap and feed ears with consummate ease. Warmblood is a band ready to break into the keenest spotlight, whether extreme metal is ready for their creative bloodlust is another thing.
God Of Zombies is available now via Spew Records
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