Wage War - Deadweight
Wage War, a metalcore group formed out of Ocala, Florida, rose to the top of their genre with their debut record Blueprints in 2015. Now the group is back and ready to take the crown again after two consecutive years of touring with bands like A Day to Remember and Every Time I Die and last year's run on the Vans Warped Tour. Their sophomore album, Deadweight, released on Fearless Records, marks some serious evolution for the band.
Deadweight starts off with gorgeous intro track “Two Years,” which seamlessly blends into the second track, “Southbound.” “Southbound” not only has insane breakdowns and grooves, but some of the best clean vocals from guitarist Cody Quistad on the album. The appear at the perfect time following some crushing vocals from frontman Briton Bond, who has learned some new techniques since Blueprints and showcases more of his high scream than we saw on the first record, especially on second single “Don’t Let Me Fade Away.” It’s unusual that after “Southbound” you’re greeted by all of the singles in a row with “Don’t Let Me Fade Away” followed by “Stitch” and then “Witness.” They’re amazing, groovy tracks front to back and are not to be skipped, and as soon as “Witness” ends, you’re tossed into the absolutely brutal title track “Deadweight.” The ambient guitar riff in the background absolutely makes the song (as do the breakdowns), and it’s a perfect bridge track into the second half of Deadweight. No promises you won’t break something in your vicinity listening to it.
It’s always great when a band offers a little bit of variety here and there, and “Gravity” is that: one of the more melodic and mellow tracks on the album, it features emotional clean vocals and closes with some light heavy riffing to prepare you for “Never Enough,” which is easily one of my favorite tracks on Deadweight. The harmonized gang vocals prior to the chorus on “Never Enough” are something special. “Indestructible” has some absolutely crushing drumming, which the guitars struggle to keep up with, and “Disdain” almost sounds like Iowa-era Slipknot with its “nu” vocal patterns and faster-paced segments. It’s a nice surprise and it really shows how far Wage War can stretch their sound and still absolutely kill it. “My Grave to Dig” features several musical callbacks to “Youngblood” off of Blueprints, a nice nod to fans, and the ballad-like “Johnny Cash” leaves things on a high note as both a closer and another successful experiment in Wage War’s discography.
Wage War are bound for success: Deadweight is a flawless sophomore album, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s an emotional, ambitious, and destructive metalcore record in a year without a lot of them, so go see Wage War on their album release tour with Varials and Gideon and pick up a copy of Deadweight for yourself.
- Dakota G.