Sound: The surprising break up of From Autumn To Ashes in 2008 led critics wondering where the band members would go. Mike Pilato went back to being Mike Pilato, Brian Deneeve formed a new band called Summer Law, Jeff Gretz went back to his former band Zao, and Rob Lauritsen joined a new band. The frontman of the band was former From Autumn To Ashes frontman, Francis Mark. Rob and Fran sat down and talked about music, and Warship was found. On the album, these two friends made some great BOOM! Or in other words, made a great kick to their old sound. It was nowhere near what From Autumn To Ashes had ever created. The guitars were more alternative, creating this semi progressive/sludge metal genre. Francis Mark really keyed the drumming with his usual technical influences. The vocals were done great by Fran, with mixes of screams, anger, and singing.
The album starts off with Toil, with a riff more towards the post-hardcore era, but then Fran's vocals come in, and change the song drastically. After the first few verses of Fran sing screaming questions and phrases that really get the listener thinking, the guitars and drumming eventually change to this pounding mix with Fran distorting his voice to a new extent of awesome. The song begins to slow down and you hear Fran truely sing, and hear the melodies Rob Lauritsen beautifully creates. It was something From Autumn To Ashes fans took kindly, and was one of their first popular songs.
At the end of Toil, the mood changes rapidly to the next song, Profit Over People. With a fast winding riff, Rob was beginning to show he was not just some chord changing guitar, he really has this dark sense of riff playing that mix well with Frans vocals and drumming style. The song slows down a little with Robs beautiful melodies again.
The next song, Wounded Paw, is Warships most polished song yet. It starts with a clean guitar playing a somewhat complicated yet calming riff, like everything is okay. Fran starts singing with his distinguished soothing voice he has grown over time. The song really sticks in your head because of the verse, as Fran lets his emotions be shown while singing, sometimes distorting his voice like he his in pain. Then the music stops, and Fran picks up some double kick intriguing drum line that brings Robs true riff out. Then the song takes off into the verse with Fran leading "But no one cares about what youve got to say." The song ends with Robs riff and leaves the listener blown, this song is by far the most soothing on the album.
Where's Your Leash starts out with a typical type of sludge alternative riff, with Fran mixing his drum patterns well behind him. Fran then comes in with vocals, leaving it stuck in your "You where nowhere to be found." The chorus shows more of a grunge style, with quick chord slides and changes, something which is making its way back into music.
Lousy Horoscope is a slower song, With Rob playing a twisted clean riff that sends chills down your spine with its haunting beauty. The song first reminded me of the clean riff in Frans other band, Arbitrary Stimulation by Biology. The chorus is softly distorted chords with Fran again soothing you with his voice, "and then find your way home" Fran sings this one beautifully. Near the end of song, the distortion picks up, and Fran lets his drum style be shown, with quick double kicks and patterns that leave you wanting more.
We've Never Been Equal starts out with a drum pattern that leaves you with a semi From Autumn To Ashes riff, then takes off to another Rob Lauritsen sludge riff, which gets you bobbing your head and keep repeating it in your head.
"Control, Control!" Is how Fetus Flytrap starts, with a good intro and a Biologyish type verse, with a couple of octave chords played in good melody with Frans easy singing. The melodies create really show the tight formation Rob and Fran have.
Empty Vessel is a song that had to grow on me after a couple of listens. It starts out with a fast drum pattern anybody who has heard Fran will know. Then this guitar comes in in an upbeat tempo with the drums. The thing that throws me off is the vocals, they seemed force with the song and sometimes Fran gets thrown off pitch when he sings, and that throws me off guard as well. The song becomes a little repetitive at first, but overall is something that grows on you when you just want to blast something loud and fast through some speakers.
The Waiting List starts off with a death metal type drum pattern, but continues as a sludge/grudge metal song. Fran's voice make this whole song, showing his anger and emotion with every word. The song has more continuous 16th type notes being played, which is different than most of the other songs. The melodies later created with the vocals are another beautiful one Fran seems to pull off well.
Indoors is the final song on the album, again with a clean riff that reminds the listener that everything is okay, and reminds me of Biology. The drums begin to pick up the tempo, and the song returns back to that beautiful riff. The song continues till the end, where Fran is singing in pain some final verses over some beautiful distortion that Rob put together, da da....
Silence and the album is over. By far this has been the most aggressive yet soothing album that Fran has ever been a part of, and everybody should own it. The album is full of everything a good band has, slow melodical clean riffs matched with a melody of vocals, with aggressive patterns on the drum that mix with he distorted mind numb the guitars create, creating a plethora of roaring vocals.
To be honest, you have to like this kind of aggressive post grunge/sludge metal music to really understand how it hits you. Those who like Smile Empty Soul, Nirvana, Every Time I Die, and multiples of others will come to love this band. // 8
Lyrics: Fran has always wrote lyrics, but this time the lyrics he writes are of pure genius. Lyrically his songs consisted of governmental problems, the control of humanity, and suicidal depression. The suicidal depression an be viewed differently in many ways, like in Wounded Paw. "And you chose a length of rope, instead of asking for a hand, and everything, will have its end, and the more that gets explained, all the less i understand." Then it goes back to the controlling side of it, "How can you know whats best for me? When the objective is to keep us weak?"
Where's Your Leash has a great defining lyrics of where we fit in society and how death is involved. "When I started asking questions you were nowhere to be found When I begged for your protection you were nowhere to be found Disappointed in your children, did you leave us here to drown? Have you sacrificed the kingdom? Have you given up your crown? Only in death will I receive a definite answer to that mystery"
"Control, Control!" Is how Fetus Flytrap starts, and the lyrics continue on to this good phrase "Still you don't believe that every written composition is a reflection of time, where you've been what you've lived through"
Indoors has a view on the society of humanity and are place, "cause and effect, we are passengers on a spinning object"
Francis Mark put some beauty into these lyrics, everybody will relate or whatever is done these days. // 9
Overall Impression: Compared to From Autumn To Ashes, Warship is a whole new band. Francis Mark combined his melodic harmonies from Biology and his aggression in From Autumn To Ashes to create a super Francis Mark band named... Warship. The most easy listening and easy song stop grow on you are Wounded Paw, Wheres Your Leash, Lousy Horoscope, and Indoors. Listen to those first and then work your way into the aggressive side Rob and Fran really throw into the album. One thing I do miss out of Fran is having Brian Deneeve by his side. Brian and Fran were always together, from day one of From Autumn To Ashes, they were the only two original members. I miss having Brian and his modern wave octave chord harmonies and melodies that you have always heard throughout From Autumn To Ashes. Without Brian I thought I could never listen to another album of Francis Mark. If it were stolen or I lost it, I would have to get me another copy, this CD is rare to find in stores as it is, and the internet rips you off with the shipping and handling, so I would hate to lose it or have it be stolen. // 9