Warkrusher Armistice 12″

I love it when BOLT THROWER gets worshiped by punks, because, in essence, BOLT THROWER was a punk band that played death metal! Crushing death metal with a clear vibe of Realm of Chaos-era BOLT THROWER, mixed with apocalyptic crust like classic AXEGRINDER and DEVIATED INSTINCT. The thing with the so-called “stenchcore” is that it has all been done countless times before, but Montreal’s WARKRUSHER really knows how to pay a proper homage to the war masters. From the logo, the cover, the songs, and overall vibe, they nail the fuck out of it. Enter the realm (of chaos) of Armistice at your peril. Crussssssst!

Warkrusher Epitaph / Victims of Mortality 7″

This is a record I have been anxiously awaiting since I first heard the band’s convincing 2019 demo. If the tape’s cover was pretty much unreadable, the content was certainly more clear and unambiguous: stenchcore for the unwashed. I suppose the rather unoriginal name did give it away, and an experienced linguist would have easily hypothesized that WARKRUSHER would probably sound like a cross between BOLT THROWER’s War Master and HELLKRUSHER. Not bad at all professor, thanks for dropping by. WARKRUSHER is from the prolific Montreal hardcore punk scene, and the members have played in a bunch of other bands that you have probably heard of like NAPALM RAID, PMS 84, and PARASYTES. This is the band’s first endeavour into the world of vinyl and it is, as I hoped, an absolute winner. The production is much better, crunchier and groovier, than on their previous recordings (and I do really enjoy the Pils Session, and not just because it is a terrible pun I wish I had come up with)—it just sounds heavier and more aggressive without falling into the merciless “we wish we were a death metal band” trap which is the equivalent of the Odyssey’s Sirens for crust bands. WARKRUSHER loves filthy metal, but they are in essence a punk band. There are two songs on this 7”; the A-side is a classic mid-paced stenchcore track reminiscent of early HELLSHOCK, SANCTUM, and early ’10s CANCER SPREADING. On the other side, “Visions of Mortality” opens with some AXEGRINDER-esque synth which always gets my attention straight away; it is the equivalent of a whistling toy for crusties. This one is probably more epic and I can picture myself riding a war horse (or more realistically a friendly pony) in the wasteland. What I especially like about WARKRUSHER is that they play the genre exactly as it is supposed to be played and write proper songs instead of just offering a D-beat version of BOLT THROWER. One of the best old-school crust bands around, without a doubt. The tape version of this gem has three additional tracks, two covers from AXEGRINDER and COITUS and an original.