When Steve Tucker left Morbid Angel for the second time in 2004, (he rejoined the band in 2015), he took some time off. In recent years he started to participate in a few bands and projects such as Nader Sadek before starting his own band Warfather in 2012.
Tucker and his band released their debut album Orchestrating the Apocalypse in 2014. It was the portrait of a band playing old school death metal along with modern sounding death metal, a good fusion of old school and modern death metal.
Warfather’s second album The Grey Eminence follows a slightly different atmosphere and structure in comparison to the debut. Warfather followed a comparable path to Hate Eternal, who started as a classic death metal band but evolved into a multi-layered, atmospheric and chaotic death metal band. The evolution in sound from Warfather’s debut to their second album makes even more sense with Hate Eternal’s Erik Rutan producing The Grey Eminence.
The fifty minute long album is filled with familiar riffs from the early American death metal scene days through the modern era. The Grey Eminence can be marked as where old school and modern death metal collide. Like their debut album, The Grey Eminence has many influences from the albums that Tucker recorded with Morbid Angel as bassist and vocalist. The album has a raw sound because of its chunky riffs, loud drumming and roaring vocals, all of which are the results of a thick and dense production.
Packed with the exquisite musicianship, Tucker’s vocals on the album aren’t to the incredible levels of his Morbid Angel era, but his performance on The Grey Eminence shows why he can be considered as one of death metal’s best vocalists.
Overall, The Grey Eminence is a good release. At some points its musical patterns don’t match the debut, but its brutal themes and slaying multi-layered atmospheres make this album an enjoyable listen. “Orders of the Horde,” “Headless Men Can No Longer Speak,” “The Dawning Inquisition” and the title track, to name a few, deliver the maximum power of a crushing trip that every death metal release needs to have.
(released September 16th, 2016 on Greyhaze Records)