Warbringer are an American Thrash Metal band that formed in 2004. They started under the name Onslaught till 2004 upon learning of another band having the same name. They were signed onto Century Media to represent the LA Thrash revival scene.
Highschoolers John Laux and Victor Mikhaltsevich met each and began to write songs after learning of each other's interest in metal music, with the latter introducing John Kevill as the vocalist of the band. The band finally had a solid line up in place and had adopted the name Warbringer after attempting to combine War- as prefix to a variety of words. They had recorded a four-song 2004 demo that was never released. It was the only recording with Victor Mikhaltsevich with the band. Due to creative differences the band had decided to seek out another guitar player. Emilio Hoschet soon joined the band and in 2005 they had self-financed the Born of the Ruins demo. In 2006 the band had also finished the One By One, the Wicked Fall demo. Self-financed again and recorded at Love Juice Labs. The original pressings were handmade, but the band eventually opted to have them printed more professionally.
They finally got to recording in 2007 for their debut, and went on a six year old tour that's still going as of today. They had opened for big bands like Suffocation, Napalm Death, and Exodus. In 2009, they started with the sophomore effort done within 12 days.
During the spring of 2011 Warbringer enter The Omen Room studios with producer Steve Evetts for the third album. Afterwards, Warbringer began a tour with Diamond Plate, Lazarus A.D., and Landmine Marathon, and in 2012, opened for Iced Earth and Symphony X.
In 2013, they announced a new album due for an October release, entitled IV: Empires Collapse. 2014, unfortunately, brought the departure of Laux and Cruz; after a European tour with Iced Earth that employed Balmore Lemus (ex-Exmortus) and Blake Anderson as fill-ins, Kevill very nearly ended the band but decided to soldier on and hold auditions for new members. As of 2015, the entire new lineup has been announced; Noah Young is taking Laux's spot, while Alex Malmquist and Vicken Hovsepian have taken the bass and drum slots. This didn't last, however, as the new blood left by the end of 2015; on the other hand, Carlos Cruz has returned, while Jessie Sanchez (Bonded by Blood) and Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez will be part of the live lineup for their winter 2016 tour. Sanchez was eventually made full-time, while Chase Becker took the vacant guitar spot. A new album is currently in the works; Woe to the Vanquished was released on March 31,2017.
- John Kevill vocals (2004present)
- Adam Carroll - guitars (2004-2012, 2013present)
- Carlos Cruz - drums (2011-2013, 2015-present)
- Chase Becker - guitars (2016-present)
- Chase Bryant - bass (2018-present)
- One By One, the Wicked Fall (2006) (EP)
- War Without End (2008)
- Waking into Nightmares (2009)
- Worlds Torn Asunder (2011)
- IV: Empires Collapse (2013)
- Woe to the Vanquished (2017)
- Weapons of Tomorrow (2020)
Warbringer displays these tropes:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "Future Ages Gone".
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: This was apparently a regular thing in their early touring days, which John Kevill openly acknowledged. As a bunch of guys in their late teens and early twenties whose high school band had blown up, they went about as hard as you would expect them to on their early tours, and Kevill admitted that Exodus (who took them out on their first national run) had to speak to them about their childish drunken antics on a fairly regular basis on that run. At the same time, however, Exodus was more parental in their approach than anything else, as while they were annoyed by their habitual drunkenness and next-day hangovers, they couldn't be too mad at them because, as several members admitted, Warbringer's conduct was a splitting image of their own back in their younger days and they had to cut them some slack and let them enjoy being kids while they could.
- Ancient Conspiracy: "Echoes from the Void", though it's relatively benign and just wants to ensure the survival of knowledge for future generations.
- The Anti-Nihilist: "Divinity of Flesh", kinda. Yeah, we're all going to die someday and our own individual contributions probably won't mean much, but our collective recorded knowledge will.
- Ascended Extra: Ben Bennett, Jessie Sanchez, and Chase Becker.
- Cover Version: "Sacrifice" by Bathory, "(We Are) The Road Crew" by Motörhead, "Execute Them All" by Unleashed, and "Fight Back" by Discharge.
- Darker and Edgier: Waking into Nightmares thanks to the Death Metal influence. They also tried to be this for the MySpace thrash scene as a whole - as per Kevill, he hated a lot of the novelty and joke songs and goofy approaches that many of their peers had, and also hated the rigid purism that he regularly saw and its derivative musical results, so they all collectively decided to try and be a heavier and completely serious band rather than just being another "zombies, beer, action movies, and thrash" band.
- Determinator: The band as a whole between 2008 and 2009, when they toured to a potentially record-setting level. According to Kevill, they were on the road almost constantly and laying dead at home on the rare occasions where they weren't, and it was only their hunger as an up-and-comer that sustained them.
- Distinct Double Album: Woe to the Vanquished is set up like this; the first half is aggressive death/thrash that contains the fastest song that they have ever written ("Shellfire"), while the second half is very melodic and progressive and culminates in the eleven-minute, suite-based epic "When the Guns Fell Silent".
- Epic Rocking: "When the Guns Fell Silent" (11:11), "Heart of Darkness" (7:12), "Defiance of Fate" (7:08), and "Glorious End" (6:40).
- Genre Roulette: Worlds Torn Asunder played with this, while IV: Empires Collapse made this a main selling point.
- Gorn: Some of their songs have this
- Heavy Meta: "Iron City", along with Ode to Intoxication.
- I Am the Band: John Kevill, as of 2014.
- Insufferable Genius: Ben Bennett was a talented bassist. He was also enough of a dick that the band threw him out immediately after finishing a tour in 2009 and welcomed back in Andy Laux, and people who toured with Warbringer during his time in the band can attest to his obnoxious, abrasive personality.
- Jerkass: Ben Bennett, whose arrogance, horribly rude and abrasive personality, and drugged-out idiocy pissed the rest of the band off and eventually got him fired immediately after a major tour when, during the tour, he apparently was such a dick to Nic Ritter one night that the latter ran out of the van and angrily punched a dumpster hard enough to break his hand, putting him out for the rest of the tour and making Kevill angry enough to physically pull Bennett out of the van and smash his face in with his foot.
- Later Installment Weirdness: IV: Empires Collapse was a Genre Roulette-laden experiment with lots of unorthodox arrangements that was admittedly done as a way of proving to the remaining naysayers who still lumped in Warbringer with the rest of the stolen-Exodus-riffs-and-uninspired-Ed-Repka-cover-artwork retro thrash crowd that they weren't one-trick ponies.
- Lead Bassist: Chase Bryant is a Type A, and John Kevill has openly stated that he is the best bassist they have ever had.
- Lead Drummer: Carlos Cruz is known for his technical ability and powerful, aggressive playing style, as well as for his frequent songwriting contributions.
- Living Weapon: A song called such is actually this, though it's a subversion in that it's about a soldier blindly following orders.
- Metal Scream: Kevill does this a lot.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Standard or hard 9; rarely hits a soft 10. Basically, they're one of the most aggressive examples of straight Thrash Metal.
- Mushroom Samba: "Severed Reality", which Kevill wrote after having a really awful trip.
- New Sound Album: Every single one:
- War was mostly a continuation of the standard thrash sound of their demos, but with some newfound death metal influences.
- Waking massively bumped up the death metal influences and featured far more complex arrangements.
- Worlds was a far more eclectic album that played with elements of a bunch of different genres and generally served as their "experimental" album.
- IV majorly upped the melody and expanded upon the Genre Roulette elements introduced on Worlds, with lots of unusual and borderline progressive arrangements.
- Woe is something of a return to their basic style and is overall closest to Worlds with a bit of a progressive edge. They would later carry this over to Weapons of Tomorrow.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: The ghosts in "Silhouettes" are a particularly horrifying case of And I Must Scream; those shadows indelibly burned into walls following a nuclear explosion? They house the trapped souls of those vaporized by the blast, and they are eternally locked to the location and very conscious of their fate.
- Progressive Metal: IV: Empires Collapse bordered on this, and they have written several tracks that are very unambiguously in this style (namely "When the Guns Fell Silent" and "Heart of Darkness") on their later albums.
- Revolving Door Band: Kevill is the sole remaining founder and they go through frequent lineup changes. This tendency very nearly killed the band.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: "Shellfire".
- Signature Style: Aggressive, fast paced Thrash that takes inspirations and influences from older Teutonic Thrash bands and some old-school Florida death metal, along with occasional snippets taken from other genres that they enjoy.
- Special Guest: Gary Holt (Exodus) played a guest solo on their rerecording of "The Road Warrior", while John Gensmer (Epicurean), Balmore Lemus, Blake Anderson, and Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez have all served as live fill-ins.
- Tank Goodness: The cover art for War Without End
- Teen Genius: The band members, especially John Laux, formed in High School
- Theme Naming: The first three albums started with a W.
- War Is Glorious/War Is Hell: Their original main lyrical theme before they branched out.