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Warmachine - 2005 The Beginning Of The End

Joe Di Taranto - lead vocals, all guitars
Andrea Zanini - bass
Andrew Zenti - drums

Back when wasn't ruled by the corporates I would trawl the site looking for up 'n' coming melodic rock/metal bands. One such band was Warmachine. That was obviously a few years ago and back then I was pretty damn impressed by them. Their continued existence was a surprise to me when I received their debut album in the mail from Silent Planet Promotions. The album was recorded in 2003/2004, a full two years before release. Regardless of the delay 'The Beginning of the End' is a cracking exhibit of melodic true metal. If the credits are anything to go by then Joe Di Taranto has got the song-writing side of American melodic metal down pat. Apparently he wrote everything on 'The Beginning of the End', and performed all guitars bar a couple of solo's, and most of the singing. Get the impression Joe is a multi-talented guy? Joe also thought it would be nice to have a few buddies, such as Dave Ellefson (Megadeth, Avian), Ralph Santolla (Millenium/Iced Earth), Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) and Murray Daigle (Emerald Rain), to throw some stuff on the album as well. With the likes of Hess and Daigle in the mix there might be an expectation for melodic hard rock rather than the obliterating traditional heavy metal that Di Taranto is so good at crafting. The vocals by both Hess and Daigle fit remarkably well amongst the metal onslaught. Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden are all given as comparisons but one band that could also be mentioned is Seven Witches. Joe's approach to the guitar is in the same zone as Jack Frost.

The Songs
On the vocal side Joe is again quite capable with a good clear mid-to-high range. Finding time to give an album a decent listen is not easy so Warmachine were lucky enough to accompany me while I put out the washing the other day. Ever seen someone head-banging while hanging out their undies? If you'd been in my backyard that day you would have. Murray Daigle has done a fantastic job with the production and listening to the album through headphones is a very powerful experience. For pure power and heaviness opener 'Betrayed' has the goods, delivering in a musical context the angry and hurt feeling of betrayal. Warmachine throw out the challenge early on with the mighty 'Empty'. A granite riff, harmony vocal chorus and Iron Maiden style lead work. Harry Hess and Harem Scarem may have lost my vote with their recent albums but Harry's vocals on the chorus for the rousing 'Eternally' are perfect and this is one of many highlights on the album. Thrash isn't really my thing except for a couple of bands like Overkill and 'Taunted Souls' is every bit as good as anything the New Jersey natives could muster, including a massive guitar solo from Ralph Santolla. Another Harem Scarem alumni Darren Smith gives a hand on backing vocals for 'Eye For An Eye'. A bloody great riff from Joe and an instantly memorable chorus.

In Summary
No offense to Nightmare Records but Warmachine should be on a bigger label. They would fit right in with Nuclear Blast or Massacre, such is their class and ability. Why it took a smaller label to get 'The Beginning of the End' released is extraordinary. One of the finest debut pure metal albums to come out in recent times.

Produced By: Murray Daigle

Track Listing:
01 Betrayed
02 Empty
03 Beginning Of The End
04 Safe Haven
05 Fate
06 Eternally
07 Forgotten Demise
08 Taunted Souls
09 Eye For An Eye
10 Dust To Dust
11 Apocalypse


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