Warforged’s brand new swirling black metal album I:Voice proves itself relentlessly, brutally epic right off the bat. Back after a break in releases of several years, the Chicago band do not mess around. Their latest work centers on extremities of derangement, impressively scoping out a path that consistently stays true to black metal accessibility with an infusion of amped up craze invigorating the whole work and those lucky enough to hear it. I: Voice feels like a classic black metal chill with an extra helping of fist-pumping, headbanging mayhem, and the combination elevates those and all the rest of the ingredients. The record carries a sense of a sonic encapsulation of a forest engulfed in hellish fire — with you walking right in the middle of it.
Besides being as “fun” as black metal can be for those interested in pushing their sonic experiences to new extremes, the album is also at times a really fascinating beast on a technical level. Warforged present their boundary breaking in a refreshingly straightforward fashion. Thanks to the sheer force inherent in the song construction and presentation, the observer gets doused with the band’s apparent sonic confidence — even when they briefly foray into jazzy textures! As another addition to the standard black metal base, the band repeatedly utilize impressive guitar shredding alongside their overall pummeling that adds to the sonically epic, soaring feel of their record. In other words, while maniacally and excitingly intense, I:Voice is fascinatingly and decidedly not monotone. Often, the band’s playing is clear and crisp enough to make even a well-listened extreme metal fan wonder how on earth the musicians could pull off such an intense feat.
Sheer sonic intensity is not all this band have to offer. Their music emanates a clear passion — Warforged have gripped the fire that has consumed them, and even as it continues to rage, they’ve offered a sense of sinister but effective control via I:Voice. The album is absolutely furious — really, it would be difficult to overstate the mind-melting intensity of some of its moments — and it’s wonderful. The band break barriers all sorts of directions — it’s now up to you to follow them.
Listen below via Bandcamp. The full album is available May 10.