Chris Caffery - W.A.R.P.E.D.
Black Lotus Records
Heavy Metal
15 songs (72'35)
Release year: 2005
Chris Caffery, Black Lotus
Reviewed by Marty
On the inside sleeve of Chris Caffery's 2004 Faces album as well as with the press release for his latest entitled W.A.R.P.E.D., the current Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist has written a short essay expressing his views on the current state of affairs in recent modern history. In a scathing attack, he blasts any regime/ way of life etc. that accepts war as a justified and necessary action. He points out for example, that we are the only species of life on this planet that will kill each other for means other than survival or self-defense. With W.A.R.P.E.D, he has taken the bonus CD entitled God Damn War that was part of the Faces package, added a few extra tracks and released it on it's own. It's not really a bad idea as the whole tone of the God Damn War material was much heavier, darker and nastier than much of the material on Faces. With this collection, he goes on a full boar political rant and W.A.R.P.E.D. allows us to peer into Chris' consciousness to see a more darker side to his personality.

Besides being much heavier, the material on W.A.R.P.E.D. takes on a much more aggressive and more theatrical edge than with the Faces album. Likewise, Chris' lead guitar playing throughout is more of the really fast shredding style as opposed to some of the more melodic touches of Faces and his work with Savatage. With Home Is Where The Hell Is, Chris points out that if "War Is Hell" as many have described throughout history then we are in a sense creating our own hell right in our very own backyards by endorsing and promoting the unnecessary use of military force. Intense and theatrical, Chris' booming heavy riffs, gruff vocal style and big ominous chorus drives the point home. God Damn War sees Chris at his nastiest. Complete with the sounds of choppers, sirens and explosions, this one slowly builds before he launches into a killer and mean guitar riff. With low-tuned guitars and some very Maiden-like muted guitar harmonies, the intense and dark atmosphere is carried throughout this track as well. With chants of VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! and a very solid main riff, Election Day is a wild and driving punk-edged metal attack encouraging people to vote for a change of scenery in Washington. The Savatage metal style makes appearances with tracks like Erase with it's more epic, progressive and orchestral feel as well as Piece Be With You especially with Chris' Jon Oliva vocal style. Speaking of Jon, he makes a guest appearance doing lead vocals for the track Iraq Attack. Originally written in 1992 for the Dr. Butcher project, this sinister and heavy Dr. Butcher style metal romp was written in response to the Gulf War in the middle east whereby George Bush Sr. lead the charge to liberate Kuwait from their Iraqi invaders. Now with George Bush Jr. at the helm and some thirteen years later...some things really don't change that much do they?

The sinister and aggressive Dr. Butcher style of metal makes more appearances on tracks like Edge Of Darkness and Beat Me, You'll Never Beat Me. Edge Of Darkness has more of theatrical almost Queen-like atmosphere whereas Beat Me, You'll Never Beat Me mixes Michael Schenker styled riffs with some aggressive heavy metal and solid lead guitar breaks. Classic 80's era thrash metal flavors tracks like Fool! Fool! as well as the ultra political State Of The Head (as opposed to The Head Of State). A couple of tracks really stand out as very unique and one of those is Saddamize. In an obvious reference to Saddam Hussein, it goes from a Spanish guitar intro to a heavy Led Zeppelin influenced track with Chris shouting Holy Jihad!! I, with it's angry and atmospheric tone launches into a very heavy groove with lyrics that deal with the individual looking out for themselves and not throwing themselves into the fray of an unjust cause. I don't normally quote lyrics but I'll make an exception here. In this track, Chris sings, "I don't care about the fate of all nations, I refuse to give my life for free. I was born, I'm my father's creation but when I die, I'm going to die for me". With all of the young American military coming home from Iraq in body bags, those words of Chris' speak volumes and really hit home.

Not really an album to listen to if you're in a happy mood, W.A.R.P.E.D. is a very personal album from Chris and one that really dwells on the darker aspects of modern day society. All of the tracks have well defined choruses but most are angry and shouted...melody was obviously not a priority for this album!! Combining the more sinister and heavier aspects of Dr. Butcher with the very theatrical edge of Savatage, Chris Caffery offers up an album that makes us think about ourselves, our values and what is happening around us. Those who are unhappy with the Bush regime and their involvement in Iraq will find that fuel will be added to their hatred by listening to this! As I stated earlier, nine of these tracks were originally released as a bonus CD with the Faces album and with W.A.R.P.E.D. you also get six more tracks including an old Dr. Butcher track resurrected for this album and complete with Jon Oliva on vocals. If you already have the Faces album with the bonus CD, there are still lots of new material on here or if you're interesting in hearing a very angry, heavy, theatrical and highly political album W.A.R.P.E.D. it is!!

Killing Songs :
Election Day, Edge Of Darkness, Saddamize, I and Iraq Attack
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Chris Caffery that we have reviewed:
Chris Caffery - House of Insanity reviewed by Marty and quoted 68 / 100
Chris Caffery - Pins And Needles reviewed by Marty and quoted 82 / 100
Chris Caffery - Faces reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
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