"The Grey Eminence" 

by Thor

Former and once again Morbid Angel frontman Steve Tucker does a respectable imitation of that band on “The Grey Eminence,” the sophomore LP from Warfather, or Tucker’s death metal band not called Morbid Angel.  Did you follow all that?

That’s not to say that Warfather is bad.  This band kicks serious fucking ass.  It’s a caldron bubbling forth a slick of angry, evil-sounding, and relatively intellectual death metal.  But, then again, so is Morbid Angel and even if Tucker hadn’t reassumed vocal/bass duties with the iconic death metal progenitors, the similarities between these two bands are unmistakable.  But to be fair and, moreover, realistic, much of the overlap is inevitable. 

“The Grey Eminence” is an Erik Rutan production and as such, it sounds simultaneously clear and ultra-aggressive.  Sonically, there’s no mud, no slop, and no fat.  It’s clean and lean.  The songs are all ominous and elicit the same type of uneasiness that death metal did in the early days which is a nearly impossible feat that cannot be overlooked.  And while some of the songs are a little on the long side, it seems more the result of Tucker’s approach to songwriting and less a misstep.  Frankly, I listen to so much grind that anything over two minutes seems like an epic.

Warfather’s “The Grey Eminence” is full of wicked Tucker riffs that both recall and sway with the heft of Trey Azagthoth’s best seven-string concoctions, not to mention the blasphemous solos, tasty drumming, and Tucker’s familiar vocal incantations.  There’s no weaknesses here and, not to beat a dead horse, but if you’re a Morbid Angel fan, then you can pretend this is them, worm-holing in from a parallel universe to satisfy you with wicked, prurient death metal.