ALBUM REVIEW: Warbeast’s “B.C. A.D.”

ARTIST: Warbeast + ALBUM: B.C. A.D. + LABEL: Metal Rising + RELEASE DATE: MAR 20, 2019

As the Dallas metal scene and fans worldwide continue to grieve the loss of Bruce Corbitt, Warbeast offers B.C. A.D as one means of potentially finding closure. In fact, it’s the perfect release to honor both the band and their singer who lost his fight against cancer earlier this year. The two disc set includes a CD of the bands first performance as “Warbeast” (after they moved on from the Texas Metal Alliance name that initially brought the members of the band together) and a DVD of their final performance in 2018. The pair of discs form the perfect bookends around their three albums and the split EP they did with Phil Anselmo.

The live CD, recorded at the Skillman Street Pub, features the band playing their debut album (Krush the Enemy) in its entirety. The band sounds like a bloodthirsty monster ready to rip everyone’s heads off and drink from their skulls. Think that sounds like hyperbole? Fuck you, listen to this CD. This incarnation of the band features mainstays Corbitt, Scott Shelby (guitar), and Joey Gonzalez (drums), with Rick Perry (guitar) and Alan Bovee (bass). Collectively, the band is inspired, relentless, and out to prove that anyone who thinks thrash metal is a forgotten genre is a fool.

From start to finish this is a beautiful representation of the band at their beginning. What’s most valuable about this disc is the quality of the mix and soundboard recording. It’s perfect. All instruments rest alongside each other at the perfect level and hearing the crowds applause at the end of each track only further solidifies how great a performance they delivered. This performance is followed by two previously unreleased tracks from the Destroy sessions that I can’t figure out why they haven’t seen the light of day until now. “Monster” sounds not just like classic Warbeast, but classic Corbitt. Likewise, “Nameless” could have fit on any Warbeast LP.

The live DVD, recorded at the Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth last October, is the final document of the band. Performing for the first time in nearly a year and half, the band sounds incredible. Not even the faintest bit of rust or hesitation is present. What’s most remarkable is how strong Bruce’s voice sounds after months of not performing with any regularity. Showing zero signs of weakness, Corbitt is clearly relishing the opportunity to be back on stage with his brothers and in front of an adoring hometown crowd. Recorded nearly a decade after the first discs live performance, this incarnation of the band features Drew Shoup on guitar and Lyric Ferchaud on bass.

Recorded in high definition with multiple cameras at various angles, the DVD is superbly done and an emotional viewing experience. To see Bruce in his natural habitat and performing at such a high level is thrilling, yet bittersweet. Again, the band sounds fantastic. Joey, Drew, and Lyric each have solos featured for their respective instruments, the Shelbeast spits fire balls, and the Pit Bulls are seen in full mosh glory. The band plays tracks from each of their albums, but the songs off their final album, Enter the Arena (“Maze of the Minotaur,” “Punishment for Gluttony,” and “Hitchhiker”), are particularly great as rare performances with Corbitt. Throughout the show, Shoups leads and Shelby’s solos are scorching, Gonzalez and Ferchaud propel the songs forward with fury, and Corbitt’s voice is the haunting howl of a true warrior.

B.C. A.D. is a must-have for all Warbeast fans. Not only is a fitting closure to the bands story, it’s a wonderful tribute to Bruce Corbitt and everything he meant to the band and the Dallas metal scene. You know damn well!

– J. Kevin Lynch


 

 

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