Warlord - The Hunt for Damien

Warlord The Hunt for Damien cover
Warlord
The Hunt for Damien
Empire Records
2015
I recently saw this new Warlord release, which had me raising an eyebrow? A new album? No, apparently, after box sets, an anthology, a “doctored live” performance, re-releases upon re-releases on all formats and by a variety of companies and a badly mixed album of new material, with a different singer than the one they are continuing with, the band has decided to re-record some of their better songs with current singer Nicolas Leptos (Arryan Path, Astronomicon).
 
Well Leptos is hardly the one to blame for this poor sounding compilation, as he seems to have turned in quite decent performances, but the mix and mastering must have been done by the band themselves, because this sounds like weak and with the guitars on top of everything (with a bad case of reverberation that almost tends to leave a ghost/echo). I can hardly hear any bass at all. This sounds like Warlord’s Karaoke party from hell, with decent performances but a horrible sound.
 
I also find the cover – with its pseudo-patriotic overtones and the indirect condoning of war atrocities as displayed in several of the latter songs, not compatible with the Christian ethos that WT has been championing for a while now, then again… I’m not going to bother to read too deep into this.
 
“Child of the Damned” is done well enough, even though Leptos, here, sounds a tad accented in places, not to the point of being annoying by any means but maybe not perfectly mixed and produced.
 
The overall impression on “Winter Tears” isn’t much better; it sounds just as amiss as anything else on the album, only this time Leptos sounds more in-tune with the guitars and not antagonizing them…
 
“Black Mass” sounds better, but the bass still is anemic and in no way is this better than the originals.
 
“Lucifer’s Hammer” gets straight to the point, and here it’s possibly one of the better balances in the mix achieved, but again for me none of these versions are “definitive” as the originals are unsurpassed, not to mention, better mixed.
 
“Mrs Victoria” is also mixed a little better, with more bass frequencies, which begs the question if the songs on this come from different sessions and why the mastering didn’t manage to match them any better.
 
“Lost and Lonely Days” has a convincing, but the vocals of Leptos are way thicker and not as airy as on the original, which makes it slightly inferior to the original. Passionate enough performance but...
 
“Battle of the Living Dead”… I m a bit divided on, I find the performance of Cans on the original a little lethargic, Leptos sounds a lot more motivated, but the problem of the mix sounding very spartan “arises from the ashes”… on this one.
 
“Winds of Thor” is another case where I like the performances of Leptos quite a lot and here the additional harmonies (I’m not sure about additional – I’d have to A/B to make sure, I guess more pronounced however). This is probably one of the better “second versions”.
 
“Night of the Fury” is done probably better than on “The Holy Empire” but again the bloodthirsty lyrics… are something I can’t relate to and the amane sort of ending? Who on earth OK’d that mix?
 
Only for the most die-hard fans and really, even them should not really care… I’m sure this will probably get remixed and updated and reissued another 3-4 times, easily! Being talented is one thing, not being able to find more decent ways to capitalize on it though…. good songs, decent performances, ultra shitty sound.