Album review: wars – A Hundred Shivers

Metalcore underdogs wars come of age on mighty second album, A Hundred Shivers…

Album review: wars – A Hundred Shivers
Jake Richardson

An album that has steadily been released in four ‘chapters’ – each of which has a distinct theme – A Hundred Shivers isn’t shy in showcasing the broad vision and scope that Midlands quintet wars seek to bring to their music. With such an ambitious project envisioned from a band still relatively early in their career, it would’ve been easy to fall into the trap of making things too convoluted for their own good. But rather than stumble over the raft of ideas on offer, it sees them hone in on the elements that make great modern metal: aggression, emotion and, most importantly, flair.

A Hundred Shivers exudes passion throughout, and this cathartic impact owes a lot to the talents of frontman Rob Vicars. His vocal style blends shouts, screams and spoken-word, recalling that of Casey’s Tom Weaver, and it adds a more emo bent to wars’ metallic crunch. Rob dovetails well with clean vocalist and guitarist Sam Barnard throughout, particularly on standout song A Hell Behind My Eyes and the brilliant I Don’t Feel A Thing, the latter being a song which, despite its title, is packed to the rafters with intensity and feeling.

There are brief moments of the more predictable fluctuations between melodic and heavier parts associated with contemporary metalcore and post-hardcore, but in general, wars do a good job of approaching their task with the kind of songwriting dexterity that should help separate them from the crowd moving forwards. A well-written, enterprising and impassioned record, A Hundred Shivers is a battle-hardened metal gem.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Blood Youth, Casey, Polaris

A Hundred Shivers is released on November 26 via A Wolf At Your Door / Silva Screen.

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