“Enter the Arena”

By Dr. Abner Mality

I’m sure gonna miss the roaring voice of Bruce Corbitt. The leather-lunged screamer of Rigor Mortis and now Warbeast has been forced into retirement due to throat cancer. His unique bull-like roaring gave a lot of zest to the bands he was involved with.

“Enter the Arena” will be the last record to feature Corbitt’s vocals. These rabid Texans have arisen as kind of a successor to the mighty Rigor Mortis and if you are looking for raw thrashing heaviness that never stops, you will find them worth investigating. But for me, they lack an indefinable quality that made Rigor Mortis one of the best thrash-death bands to come down the pike. They also don’t boast the guitar prowess of the late Mike Scaccia.

From the first second, “Enter The Arena” comes barreling at you with the subtlety of a freight train hauling nitro. It’s pure snarling aggression. But the songwriting lacks flair. A lot of the tunes are just too long…”Centuries of Poisoned Soil”, “Maze of the Minotaur” and “Ancient Hate” would all seem better with a couple of minutes shaved off. There’s something about Warbeast’s approach that lacks memorability. And while Bruce’s roars are as hefty as ever, he’s not exactly known for a lot of range.

A mixed bag for Bruce’s swansong. The aggression and power is here in spades, but something seems to be missing.