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Warforged Electrifies All of Death Metal on “I: Voice” (Video Interview)

warforged band

Shortly ago, Chicago death metal quintet Warforged released an audiovisual magnum opus. Here it is:

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Monumental albums, especially in death metal, are nothing new. Owing to the subgenre’s vast diversity (and the wide applicability of its tenets), every shadowy corner you discover will contain a gemstone among the inevitable trove of dust bunnies. Even more seldom are the bands who visit those corners for the benefit of their sound’s context rather than for opposition or antithesis. This is the functional heart of what it means to be “progressive” (which is different than sounding “proggy”): not to recycle, but to learn. Not to reinvent, necessarily, but to reimagine. You’re allowed to reuse old parts, but they better construct something bespoke. And bespoke I: Voice is, despite it being so fantastically familiar and relatable in all the right ways.

I love death metal, and that’s why I love I: Voice above nearly every other death metal album heretofore laid to tape. In its homeric undertaking, Warforged went full do-or-die, all-or-nothing, even to the extent of self-producing the above hour-plus album video to significantly enhance the listening experience. This is Prerequisite #1: Go Big, or Go Home. Beyond that, though, is the sheer depth and variety of Warforged’s sound, which fulfills Prerequisite #2: Do Everything, and Do Everything Well. From tech-death to deathcore, I: Voice not only contains it, but nails it hard, all underneath a cosmically dense and dark atmosphere to boot. Then there’s the hardest one of all, Prerequisite #3: Be Remembered. For that, we have yet to see, as I: Voice does require some significant digestion and it literally just came out.

My humble opinion, though, is that Warforged should be the top pick right now for an addition to the league of modern death metal’s current torch-carriers (e.g. Rivers of Nihil).

I’ll be honest, when I sat down with the entire band in a Chicago suburbs basement to conduct a full-on interview about I: Voice, I was taken aback by the extent to which I had preconceived their personalities based on the album’s sound and tone. I: Voice doesn’t take itself seriously all the time (e.g. the air-instruments in the video’s second track), but it is unquestionably moody and dark, especially during late-night insomniatic solo listens. I wrongly expected the troupe to be much more mathematical about their music (partly influenced by how the album’s technicality impressed me), finding instead that they were a fun-loving bunch of progheads with penchants for both outrageous tomfoolery and holistic death metal excellence. We’ve written before about how death metal by definition shouldn’t be stuck up its own ass all the time, and Warforged champion the balance between creating serious art but not sullying attitudes about the whole enterprise.

So, it is with great pleasure that we present the below interview as a compliment to the incredible I: Voice video, should you wish to learn more about the band, the album, and the talented-as-hell people behind it. A huge thank you to Adrian Perez, Warforged’s vocalist/pianist, for the setup and editing of this video, as well as the rest of the band for taking the time to talk shop (and shoot the shit a bit, too).

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I: Voice hit shelves officially on May 10th via The Artisan Era.

warforged album cover

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