Single Review: wars – Little Death

This has been a long time coming but the wait for new music from Rugby’s finest wars has been more than worth it. The metal quintet, our New Band of the Week last July, have today released new single Little Death, their first new material since debut album We Are Islands, After All. And it’s awesome.

The new song goes right to the core of what inspires much of wars’ music – the conflict between the head and the heart, the chaos of the wars that take place within us and ravage our sense of self as we fight through existential crises and search for meaning in a meaningless world.

Frontman Rob Vicars told us: “We’re so excited to finally be putting Little Death out. It’s felt like an absolute eternity for us, yearning to release new music and the ideas we’ve been working on, and Little Death feels like the beginning of the journey toward the sounds we’ve been creating since the album last year.”

The track is an overdue reminder of just how good wars are at merging brutal screamed vocals and huge riffs with moments of superb melody. It kicks off with building background guitar notes that kicks into life with an explosion of guitar chords and the same high-pitched notes. A huge scream from Rob launches us into a lively opening verse with huge booming guitars and heavy cymbals smashing away in the background. The instrumentals drop down as the screamed vocals continue, then atmospheric guitars kick in over the top, before the instruments drop out almost completely.

Sam Barnard’s clean vocals take over “Is this poison in my blood, Whispering that I’m no good, And the whispers beg to bleed, They spill out into screams.” Light drums and flickers of guitars kick in as the clean vocals continue, then a scream of “Keep me up for just a moment” is the cue for a big wall of guitars under Sam’s clean chorus vocals “Little death, little death, This is a waste of breath, Is there anything left of us, Little steps, little steps, Got some mess in my head, Is there anything left of us?”

Huge darting low-tuned guitars follow in support of more screamed vocals then Sam and Rob team up for an awesome section of clean and screamed vocals, supported by Lee Tysall’s pounding bass drum and more big guitars. There’s a brief pause for breath, which gives way to another blast of big guitar chords under the clean chorus vocals. Then the high-pitched guitars return alongside the jumpy low-tuned guitars and cymbals to bring the track to a heavy ending.

Check it out in the rather soggy looking video below:

On the track, Rob explains: “The song itself talks of the feeling of reaching the bedrock of yourself, going as low as you can go, and feeling like you’re losing a piece of you each time you get there. You oscillate madly between fighting the thoughts off and letting them consume you. The same two words in French form a phrase that means something quite different, but the juxtaposition is present because there is a part of us that needs to sink, that craves and even revels in dying those little deaths.”

If you’re intrigued by Rob’s allusion to the French meaning, just Google ‘la petite mort’ to find out more – with a prior warning that it’s potentially not safe for work. But Little Death is a brilliant new track, with the band’s trademark crushingly powerful metal sound played off against an intriguing prolonged melodic section. It’s great to see wars back making awesome new music, and we’re looking forward to plenty more where this came from soon following their recent signing to A Wolf At Your Door Records for their upcoming releases.

The guys also have something pretty special coming up in a couple of weeks as they go out on tour with the equally brilliant Cove. Starting on 19 June at Tunbridge Wells Forum, they take in consecutive nights at Parish in Huddersfield, The Exchange in Stoke, The Queen’s Hall in Nuneaton and finish up at Black Prince in Northampton on 23 June. Trust us, this is a tour not to be missed, and more info on all those gigs is here.

Little Death is out now and available on all platforms here, and on Spotify and YouTube. You can follow wars on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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