CONQUEST - THE WAR WE RAGE (Dark Star Records)
(Review by Stefan)
To give an answer to the question how extremely enjoyable US Power can be, I immediately can make a reference to a band from St. Louis named Conquest. Formed by lead singer/lead guitarist Derrick Brumley twenty five years ago, it’s time raise a big bucket of beer as a token of appreciation for Conquest’s service of outstanding US Metal during these long period of time. Knowing the tricks of the Metal trade like no other, “The War We Rage” is their seventh output for which I have a lot of admiration. Still on the right tracks after 25 years, you can reassure that they are very strong in the release of their own activity, delivering US Metal to the masses !
Conquest’s previous album “End Of Days” had such a profound impact on my soul that I was looking forward to a successor shortly after the release. They really stole my heart with their own way of US Power/Thrash Metal, Bay Area styled and that means a lot to me ! This genius album has been released through Dark Star Records and I’d like to recommend all metalheads to watch for their official homepage loaded with flaming metal systems like Rival, Sacred Dawn, Nitro, Mindwarp Chamber, Lydian Sea, Blackfinger a.o. Also Conquest’s new effort “The War We Rage” comes from the same record company and right here, right now I want to scream it out loud that this one belongs to my favourite albums that have been seen sunlight in 2013 !
I knew that Conquest was able to offer a lot of mighty good things but along with their new output, they further increased my esteem. Nothing to do with mainstream, modern or so called nowadays Metal music… this time, Conquest comes trotting with the big guns loaded with explosive materials we define as US Power/Thrash and Classic Heavy Metal mainly. The production can be described as not too polished, still the sound quality is very well done… in fact, perfectly appropriate for a band like Conquest.
As the title suggests, “The War We Rage” has a patriotic feel and musical wise the album brings on a portion of undistorted Bay Area styled Power/Thrash Metal songs, right into your face - pure as can be. On top of this, there is also a considerable attention given to Classic Heavy Metal music, they even got me by surprise with a cover from The Charlie Daniels Band classic entitled ‘Long Haired Country Boy’. Founder Derrick says: “We chose ‘Long Haired Country Boy’ as a cover because we used to play it back in the day and it was a lot of fun, It was much lighter back then but we thought it would be cool to kick it in the ass and re-do the track”. So make notice of the fact that Conquest’s new album “The War We Rage” became a versatile masterwork with the general emphasis on ‘Metal’ !
There is plenty of variety to be found concerning the voice of Derrick Brumley, in the vein of old styled Sean Peck (Cage), Chuck ‘Testament’ Billy, Greg Smith (ex-Addictive), early David Wayne during the very early Metal Church era… Conquest’s frontman means the very best in Metal vocal delivery, he’s a hell of a great guitar player as well. And above all, Derrick is the man behind the mixing/producing duties also – my respect to this Metal veteran is sincere ! Another, very enjoyable element that affects this CD is the excellent cooperation between the two present guitarists. Mr. Brumley in charge as supplier of top notch riffs and flammable leads, second axeman Mike Crook’s takes his part of the guitar works close to heart… quite technical and fully focussed on detailed perfection, superb! Nothing negative to say about the bass lines of Rob Boyer and drum beatings of Tim Fleetwood, the entire Conquest line-up is like a lump of solid steel.
Opener ‘Coming With A Vengeance’ has a good old Vicious Rumors/Cage vibe to offer, pure US Power Metal of a very high level to me. ‘Never Forget’ is catapulted out of my speakers and to my greatest merriment, US Power Metal still reigns supreme. Superb guitar lines, awesome rhythms and a wonderful singer keep me wide awake. Next ‘Tyrant Of The New World’ is a Power/Thrash Metal killer track where nothing is missing… one of my favourites for sure! ‘Live Free Or Die’ is introduced by a Ronald Reagan quote, great Power Metal song about life seeing through a soldier’s eye. I’d like to announce the title track as best song on the album because of its pure old school Bay Area Thrash Metal influenced character! Before Conquest takes a more Traditional Heavy Metal direction, we have to swallow a couple powerthrashers more called ‘Get Off My Back’, ‘The Wicked’ and the great ‘Scream For My Life’. Vocals somewhere in the vein of Chuck Billy, guitar riffs and leads reminiscent of early Metallica times. The right in your face Heavy Metal anthem ‘Fall From Grace’ and the power ballad ‘Turn Me Away’ might be not as energetic as the rest of the songs, both are still worthy pieces to me. ‘Against All Odds’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Black’ come in style by the almighty grace of Traditional Heavy Metal music, they conclude this brilliant album with high gloss.
According to myself, Conquest deserve to create worldwide awareness! At this moment I’d like to call upon all global Metal maniacs spreading their word right away. If you do not know the band, use your common sense and look them up via: www.conquestmetal.com . If you do not take this little effort you’re not worth to call yourself a metalhead. Once again, Conquest breathes Metal in its purest form – they’re true soldiers of steel where many other bands can look up to as a sign of inspiration. Public your genuine appreciation to US Power/Thrash/Heavy Metal and order “The War We Rage” instantaneous through Dark Star Records at: www.darkstarrecords.com For fans of Cage, Vicious Rumors, Testament, old Metallica, Exodus, Advocate, Havochate, Addictive, Imagika, Have Mercy, Forté and stuff.
My Points: 92/100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish