To start, Warmachine’s The Beginning Of The End is an impressive pure heavy metal record that has great songs and an impressive vocalist/guitarist called Joe Di Taranto who drives the band through his impressive vocals and marvellous leads. Yet, I struggled between rating this album a 60 or a 70. Why? Allow me to explain.
First, the band must have had difficulty finding and negotiating a recording contract given the recording dates of 2003 and 2004. Two years plus later, this David Ellefson co-produced record is out through America’s Nightmare Records and falls short in several areas. Aside from the odd album title - why would your first album be named The Beginning Of The End? - Iced Earth too blatantly influences this band. Moreover, this disc is looking at the same challenge so many other newer heavy metal albums face. The pendulum has swung too far to the melodious end of things in metal. Many of the acts newer bands like Warmachine claim to have been influenced by had a lot more grit and crunch to them than modern bands recollect. Look, Warmachine is a good band - honest - but listen to the originators like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or the likes of Omen and Armored Saint and note how those names would often break out of the constant melody and harmonizing. Then there is Warmachine’s direct cloning of several Iced Earth melodies, riffs and vocal lines. At times one can’t tell whether he is listening to Matt Barlow screaming on Something Wicked This Way Comes or a Toronto band with a new album. Perfect examples are the vocal lines on Safe Haven and Eternally.
Having said that, and as mentioned, this band has great vocals, ripping leads and songs like Taunted Souls with its heavier rhythm and exquisite solo (which sounds like a faster version of Diamond Head’s on Am I Evil?) or Dust To Dust with its ringing guitars manage to impress in these jaded times. Here is to the trio finding its own footing in this war that is the heavy metal scene. - Ali “The Metallian”