WARCALL, Demonarchy  (2009, Panoptic)

The skull:
Swamped in a surfeit of yellow/brown, we’re already off to a bad start. Why are dirty yellows and browns such a popular choice amongst amateur metal album cover artists everywhere? A lotta people looking for jobs at Nuclear Blast, apparently. So, what’s going on here? Apparently this is Warcall’s vision of a “demonarchy,” but with all due respect to the power of the skull, you really gotta do something more than plop a skull down into the scene to spark a “demonarchy.” I think so anyway…I’ll know for sure once I nail down exactly what a demonarchy is. A planet ruled by one omnipotent demon, or a demon that endorses anarchy? We see United Nations-like symbology being taken over by this skull, who is apparently the demon, and he sits atop what look like unwieldy and incredibly thick-handled knives, or shovels. I’m gonna call them garden shovels. Goddamn it, I’m confused. I give up. Warcall & Skulldemon, 1, Friar Wagner, 0

The music:
Great. More melodic death metal that digs back about as far as In Flames’ Whoracle for inspiration. At least, it seems this is as deep as the well of inspiration runs for this Canadian band, judging by the 10 songs (and one intro) here. Warcall are Canadians who really really want to sound Swedish. They do a pretty good job of achieving their aim too, as it’s well-played and well-recorded, every ingredient in its right place and exemplifying the style perfectly. But (and holy shit, stop me yet again if I sound like a broken record) it’s absolutely derivative and generic beyond imagining. Nothing sticks, nothing interesting, nothing memorable. Remember the “About” section of this blog, how I note that Big Dumb Skulls’ mission is, in part, to investigate the correlation between the totally unoriginal idea of having a skull on your album cover and the music inside? Here you have it. Investigation complete. Warcall have made any additional investigations pointless. We now know for sure. Thanks guys.
— Friar Wagner