[Review] Wage War – ‘Manic’

Review : Benjamin Coe

Wage War have been flying deep within the metalcore radars for quite some time now and with 3 quality studio albums firm under their belts, the Florida crew are ready to unleash their newest beast, Manic, upon the world.

Storming out of the gates with opener, Relapse, the energy hits you like a ton of bricks and what follows is nothing but unabashedly relentless metalcore. Featuring some of the heaviest breakdowns you’ll hear this year, Manic definitely stands tall among Wage War’s impressive catalogue.

There’s a technical proficiency at play here that most other metalcore hopefuls lack and it’s this refusal to conform to a standard that sets these guys far apart from their peers. Guitarist Cody Quistad’s smooth, clean vocals juxtapose brilliantly against frontman Briton Bond’s signature growl which seems to get more and more impressive with each release.

Manic is quite the sonic rollercoaster. Things get a bit groovy at the halfway point with Godspeed, a track that will have you dancing right before you’re plunged into the dark depths of Death Roll, one of the heaviest tracks on offer here. This is immediately followed by sing-a-long numbers Slow Burn and Never Said Goodbye, the latter of which being the closest thing to a ballad you’ll hear throughout the album.

My only gripe with the album is that it’s too damn short. Just as you start to find yourself getting lost in the heavy, heavy soundscapes and lyrical themes laid out before you the whole thing is rolling to a close with the epic album finisher If Tomorrow Never Comes and you’re left gasping for more. But I guess that’s what the repeat button is for…

The album is available here.