Courtesy: Fearless Records
Metalcore outfit Wage War released its third full-length studio recording this summer. The album, Pressure has proven to be divisive among audiences, with some audiences alleging it presents the band straying from its roots, while others praising it for the growth exhibited over the course of its dozen total songs both in its musical and lyrical content. Those who have taken time to criticize the records are missing the bigger picture, as they clearly have an aversion to change. The whole of Pressure proves a positive offering from the group, whether it is audiences’ first exposure to the band or the latest. That is proven in part through a pair of songs featured late in the album’s 41-minute run time – ‘Fury’ and ‘Take The Fight.’ The songs’ heavy musical arrangements and their inspiring, uplifting lyrical content serve to make them two of the record’s strongest entries. ‘Prison,’ which comes much earlier in the album’s run is another of the album’s most notable additions. When it is considered along with ‘Fury,’ ‘Take The Fight’ and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album becomes a work that will appeal easily to mot Wage War fans and metalcore fans in general.
Wage War’s third full-length studio recording Pressure is a positive new offering from the up-and-coming Florida-based metalcore outfit. That is due to musical and lyrical content that collectively offers its own share of entertainment and inspiration all at the same time. One of the songs featured in the record’s run that supports those statements comes late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Fury.’ Musically speaking, this song’s musical content lends itself to comparisons to works from fellow metalcore bands, such as Of Mice & Men and As I Lay Dying. At the same time though, it also lends itself to a comparison to the best works of Slipknot. That is evident in the song’s breakdowns and its pummeling percussion elements. Front man Briton Bond’s vocal delivery adds to that comparison just as much as the work of his fellow band mates. The whole of their work makes this adrenaline-fueled fist-pumper a sure-fire hit both on record and on stage. That fiery, unforgettable musical content couples with the song’s lyrical content to strengthen the song’s standing even more.
The song’s lyrical content is important to discuss because of the confident, defiant stance that it takes against the odds stacked against a person. Briton writes in the song’s lead verse, “My scars have shown me who to be/Held me down, pushed around, but never buried me/No compromise, no fear of pain/I fight the war when you run the other way/One judgment, no jury/I am, I am the fury/Break free/You have to face the truth/No peace/Where there’s a war in you/One judgment, no jury/I am, I am the fury.” He continues writing in the song’s second verse, “This is a warning shot/It keeps me honest to God/You could never survive in a world of casualty/Open wounds turned to brick, built my legacy.” He adds in the song’s brief final verse, “All my enemies hide around me/I am the fury.” Again, here is that statement of defiance. This is overall, a statement from someone saying that he is not letting himself be held back or down anymore, but rather is going to stand up against all obstacles. It is a full-on aggressive statement that, when coupled with the song’s equally aggressive musical content, makes the song in whole a clear example of what makes Pressure such a solid record from Wage War. It is just one of the album’s most notable entries. ‘Take The Fight’ is another of the album’s most notable entries.
‘Take The Fight’ stands out among Pressure’s most notable entries because like ‘Fury,’ it is a work that both musically and lyrically presents a sense of self-determination and defiance. What is important to note here is that even with that in mind, it does not just rehash that noted song. Rather, it gives listeners something fresh and new. It musical arrangement actually stands out as something that could just as easily be compared to works featured in Sevendust’s 2007 album Alpha with its heavy, crunching melodic hard rock approach and hybrid screaming/clean vocals. One could even make a comparison to the best works of The Veer Union in this case. It is a work that will appeal not just to metalcore fans and the band’s fans, but also hard rock and metal fans in general. That widely appealing arrangement couples with the song’s equally powerful lyrical content to make the song in whole its own key addition to the album
The song’s lyrical content is powerful in its own right in that it delivers its own message of self-confidence. That message is most clear in the song’s chorus, in which Briton sings, “I know/I know that I am not alone/When I’m standing on my own/They can say what they say/Say what they say/But it doesn’t change/I know/I know that I am not alone/When there’s nowhere else to go/They can say what they say/Blame who they blame/But they can’t take the fight from me.” The “they” who are mentioned are those who live to make others’ lives miserable; those people who do everything in their power to bring others down. The song’s defiant, determined message is almost as evident in th song’s lead verse, during which Briton sings, “Is anybody out there?/Let me know/Feel like you’re over it/Had enough?/Are you afraid to wake up/’Cause it shows/Tell me what it takes to break and let go.” This moment comes across as Briton asking from the vantage point of the song’s subject if anyone else feels like the song’s subject. He adds in that verse, “Is anybody out there?/Let me know/feel like you’re over it/Had enough?/Are you afraid to wake up/’Cause it shows/I’m not gonna break and bow to no throne.” Again, this is that defiance, that certainty that the subject is not going to let certain forces hold him down. He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m not gonna stand down/Living like I’m one foot in the grave/I refuse to let you do the same/tell me what it takes to break your own chains/I see pain/I see rage/See the change that you want written on your face/I see pain/I see rage/See the world as a place where we’re all the same.” This is the song’s subject identifying with others who feel like him. In relating to those people, the song’s subject strengthens himself emotionally. Considering this and the song’s equally strong, confident musical arrangement, the whole of the song shows itself to be its own key addition to Pressure. When it is considered alongside ‘Fury,’ the two songs together go a long way toward showing why Pressure is such a positive new offering from Wage War. They are just two of the album’s key songs. ‘Prison,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is important in its own way to the whole of the album.
‘Prison’ stands out because unlike the previously discussed songs, its musical and lyrical content come across as being polar opposites of one another. The song’s musical arrangement is another driving, up-tempo presentation that will get any listener’s blood flowing. By contrast, the song’s lyrical content presents a far more introspective story.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Prison’ comes across more as a person who is struggling to come to terms with himself and his place in the world. Considering that, one would expect the song’s musical arrangement to match. Even with that contrast in mind, the song in whole still works in its own way. Briton sings in the song’s lead verse, “Feels like I’m caught in a whirlwind inside my head/I’m my own natural disaster beneath my skin/I can’t explain/And you just won’t get it/I can’t numb the pain/It’s all I think about/I’m too deep to believe I can face myself/It’s hard not to give up when you go through hell/I’m trapped in my skin/This is my prison.” Again, this comes across as someone having some trouble coming to terms with his identity and his place in the world. Usually with songs, such as this, the song’s musical arrangement would be more of a slow, melancholic composition. That proved to not be the case here, though. It makes for quite the interesting work in whole. He continues in the song’s second verse, “Behind the bars I create for myself/No one else to blame/Alone and helpless/I’m tied to all this/Living in my chain.” He returns to the song’s chorus from here. Once again, this comes across as someone who is going through a difficult point in his life in terms of self-realization. Considering the song’s musical arrangement, maybe this vantage point is one of someone at the start of that somewhat downward spiral. The song’s subject is going through the anger stage of self-realization here rather than the more depressing stage. With that possibility in mind, the song would seem to make more sense with its musical and lyrical content in whole. To that end, that relatable lyrical content and infectious musical content proves even more crucial to the whole of the album. Together with ‘Fury,’ ‘Take The Fight’ and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album shows even more why it is such an appealing work for Wage War’s fans and those of the metalcore genre.
Wage War’s latest full-length studio recording Pressure is a strong new offering from the up-and-coming metalcore outfit. That is due to the record’s collective musical and lyrical content, as has been evidenced here. ‘Forget My Name,’ which comes late in the album’s run, ‘Who I Am’ and ‘Grave’ do just as much to support the noted statement as the songs addressed here. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album becomes its own positive new offering from Wage War. Pressure is available now. More information on the album is available now along with all of Wage War’s latest tour dates, news and more at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.