When you hear Warlord UK, you’ll know instantly where they are from. Even without the UK prefix on the end of their name, their sound is so unmistakably British you’d be forgiven for saying, ‘I’ve never heard this Benediction record before?’. Not that in any way is that a bad thing. ‘Maximum Carnage’ was first released in 1996 on Nuclear Blast, and is now being reissued on its 20th anniversary by Transcending Obscurity. But the most important thing is, does it still stand up?
Hell yes it does. Opening title track ‘Maximum Carnage’ is a sleek, powerful death metal song that takes no prisoners and gives even less fucks about your pitiful technicalities. There’s no frills, no fret wankery, just pure unadulterated death metal in the vein of Bolt Thrower and Benediction. Crushing riffs match with clear but brutal growls and a propulsive low end to create beautiful music. ‘Disintegration’ stands proudly against anything the ‘big 3’ of British death metal ever wrote, and it seems a shame that Warlord UK didn’t really get as much credit as they deserved. ‘Maximum Carnage’ is a record that oozes with strength and deathly riffs.
I love the relentless drive of ‘Alien Dictator’, the glorious leads of ‘Vivisection’ just before that mega riff kicks in, and each song makes me believe even more in old school death metal. The Bolt Thrower-esque ‘Theatre of Destruction’ is the best song here, and one of the best you’ll probably hear all year. People need to dig this record out and worship at the feet of a mighty, yet underrated British institution. All hail the Warlord, for he brings death!