There’s a current resurgence in bands whose initial lifeline flickered briefly in the 1980s before fading to nothing. German Heavy Metal outfit Wardress is one such band. Their original flirtation with the Metal world lasted from 1984 to 1986, with no physical output to their name. Having been consigned to the history books, the band returned in 2018, when vocalist Erich Eysn and guitarist Alex Gor recovered some of their early works and crafted it into Dress For War, their debut record, which was released in 2019.
Wardress – Metal ‘Til The End (MDD Records)
Release Date: 17 March 2023
Words: Paul Hutchings
Four years later, Wardress are at it again, with a new, 38-minute eight-track long-player. Steeped in the old-school style of the NWOBHM movement, it’s a sharp, dynamic and release. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but the eight songs are anthemic fist pumpers in the traditional Heavy Metal style. Well played and with a vibrant energy that is infectious, there’s plenty you can enjoy if you want your Heavy Metal as routine as it comes.
From the opening burst of Beserk, the combination of genres brings a pleasing frantic delivery which works well. It’s quasi-Thrash at times, although it veers into Power Metal country on many occasions. It may be a bit overused, with songs like the title track and closing song, Metal Melodies drawing out every possible cliché available, but there is the odd bit of quality lurking here.
Having said that, there are also some rather mundane efforts here as well. Motorlust is dull, despite some decent lead work and a chunky riff, with Eysn’s gargled vocals straining to the limit. His style is something akin to a combination of Accept’s Mark Torino and Kreator’s Mille Petrozza, but maybe slightly less impressive.
Taking on a cover halfway through the album is okay, although the version of Ozzy’s Mr Crowley is just average, faithful to the original, despite the slight amendment to the lyrics. What Wardress do well is stick to their guns. They play it straight, there’s nothing particularly flashy, and the songs are well performed. The guitar work of Gor and Kimon Roggenbruck interplays neatly.
Tracks like Serpent Kiss and Serves You Right would be welcomed during a chance discovery at a festival in the middle of the afternoon with a cold one in hand. The latter is one of the better songs, with some powerful drum work from Andy Setter.
Ultimately, Wardress have produced an album that sits comfortably alongside the plethora of releases from other bands who have reformed in the last decade. It’s a decent enough listen, and if your genre of choice remains stuck back some 40 years ago, then Metal ‘til the End may well be for you.