Review by Nathan McLeod: Here you have it ladies & gents, the Future Kill EP from East Bay, CA thrash metal artist, Cultural Warfare! Which is due to be released independently on or about 20DEC16. And WOW, Cultural Warfare certainly has come a really long way as a band musically since their 2012 debut EP of, Ratten Krieg. And understandably so with the line-up changes they had been going thru. First off with ex-Taunted vocalist, Jacques Serrano replacing original vocalist, Pascal Jeandebien. Secondly, with ex-Taunted bass player, Pete Aguilar replacing original bassist, Terry Parizal. And lastly, welcome back original drummer, Kevin Doughty back to the fold, replacing Kenny Donovan. And what ya have appearing on Future Kill is very much a different Cultural Warfare than that of the past.
So, since last year whilst going thru their line-up changes, I had been extremely curious how Cultural Warfare were to sound like with Jacques Serrano on vocals, their front man? Had seen Jacques with Taunted several times over the years, which were more IMO a power metal band that hinted & touched on speed & thrash metal. And he did an excellent job with Taunted. Cultural Warfare on the other hand, thrash metal. Which will always be the king of metal to me. Jacques really delivers & belts out the vocals on Future Kill, whom is definitely more of a “real” vocalist as opposed to Pascal Jeandebien’s type of vocals, which was more of the hardcore metal vocal approach. Jacques has a very wide range of vocals who can actually fucking sing! He can scream, grunt really low, growl as what is heard on Defy The Blade, & all points in between. Doesn’t sound like any other metal vocalists out there that I can think of off the top of my head. Completely unique IMHO. As well IMO, Cultural Warfare has needed a vocalist/frontman of Jacques Serrano’s caliber that can bring them to another level musically.
Billy Garoutte on guitar is by far an under rated guitarist. I really do not think Billy gets as much credit as he deserves. His guitarmanship really shows on Future Kill. Billy’s rhythms are very tight, crunchy, but do also have a pristine sound to them. I’m sure this has something to do with the production on Future Kill. In addition though, I have see Cultural Warfare live & Billy does manage to keep or have his sound appearing live & on CD. Billy does have a some what typical Bay Area sound & style, as does Cultural Warfare as a whole. Be the last to say that this is a bad thing. For starters & although not a bloody Testament fan, there are some similarities here. Especially on the Ratten Krieg track.
Billy’s solo abilities are out of this world! Billy has really developed himself from their Ratten Krieg release to Future Kill. Not saying what was heard nor his ability on Ratten Krieg wasn’t superb, has just gotten much more intense regarding guitar solos on Future Kill. And does not matter which track appearing on Future Kill either. Truthfully cannot say one is better than the other, as for they are all outstanding! But will take a moment to point out the instrumental track of Our Dead Earth. The perfect example of Billy Garoutte’s talent with a guitar. Under two (2) minutes in length, but probably does not need to be any longer for the listener to tell themselves & see what I mean.
With Pete Aguilar & Kevin Doughty on bass & drums, I really need to talk about these lads together as one. They seem & appear to fit like a hand fitting perfectly in a glove. Its almost as if they feed upon one another whilst playing. There was some lacking with Terry Parizal on bass & appearing on Ratten Krieg. I really cannot put my finger on what exactly was lacking with Terry on bass as much as Pete Aguliar’s style fits with Kevin’s drumming perfectly. I get a Mike Borden of Faith No More feeling/influence with Kevin Doughty’s drumming. Just faster & heavier with the double bass action. And with Pete Aguilar on bass, he has more of a lead bass guitar style. He is back & forth with the rhythm & drums with a lotta lead fills. These two just blend perfectly with one another.
Although only another EP from Cultural Warfare, these lads really do not sell themselves short with Future Kill. They actually sell themselves quite well with this release. Production-wise & at the helm of Juan Urteaga, a supreme job was done here. Also is my belief Cultural Warfare needed someone with Juan’s capabilities handling production. See, part of why my review of Ratten Krieg last year was not too favourable was due to production lacking. Review can be read here: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_ABCD/olderreviews_c.html … Aside from the production department lacking on Ratten Krieg, Cultural Warfare did make an excellent & honest attempt with their debut CD. A bit personally with production on Future Kill, I might have given a little bit more tone on the bass & drums. A little bit more mic on the drum cymbals. Nothing too drastic though.
As far as what I believe to my favourite track appearing on Future Kill? Don’t have one. They’re ALL fucking great!!! I do think Cultural Warfare chose the perfect track off of Future Kill is Defy The Blade: https://youtu.be/OZDaSVdTiFg … to showcase their upcoming release of Future Kill. Would I have loved to heard a full-length release from Cultural Warfare? Of course! What does appear on Future Kill is not lacking in any way shape form or fashion. Does make you crave & want to here more material beyond five (5) tracks. This may be the only not wrong per se, but lacking more material. Already cannot wait to hear a full-length release from Cultural Warfare. Excellent & outstanding job, though…
My rating: 90/100 (Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)
*Jacques Serrano – Vocals
*Billy Garoutte – Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Pete Aguilar – Bass
*Kevin Doughty – Drums
Future Kill track info:
I) Defy The Blade II) Ratten Krieg III) The Damned IV) Future Kill V) Our Dead Earth (Instrumental) – total run-time, 19:30.
Mixed & mastered by Maor Applebaum at Maor Applebaum Studios – Los Amgeles, CA. www.maorapplebaum.com … Engineered & co-produced by Juan Urteaga at Trident Studios – Martinex, CA. CD & logo art by Stone Design www.stonedesign209.com …
*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Cultural_Warfare/3540355938