Warpath: Band Of The Day

By on 26 May 2015


Also known by their off-stage alias ‘The Warparty’, I first heard Warpath in 2011 with their unique, hard hitting, almost abusive stage presence, undoubtedly dominating any venue they step foot in. Pragmatically speaking, they are fucking awesome; the 5 piece Irish brutal death metal band are highly respected in both the local and international scene, not deviating much from their original musical course over the years. They remain consistent and loyal to the very roots of brutal death metal throughout their albums which conglomerate guttural vocals, furiously fast paced riffs with tremolo picking, heavy bass lines and absolutely electrifying blast beats, encapsulating their mind-blowing timbre both on stage and stereo. Drawing musical characteristics from their influences (now their competition/rivals) they have carved their name in the underground death metal scene and stamped a long lasting impression across Europe.

Not only have they climbed their way up the ladder with their live stage presence, they’ve also produced a plethora of contagious songs which sculpt their platform to indisputably stand out from the crowd. Their debut album ‘Gorefare’ (2007) landed them support slots alongside death metal legends Cannibal Corpse, Obituary and Malevolent Creation amongst many more, resulting in another fantastic album entitled ‘Malevolent Reprisal’ (2010) which opened doors for an entire new fan base for them. This is the kind of album you would want to play at a party, mosh to, and sometimes crush skulls to, if you’re feeling extra saucy. This deadly quintet is currently writing material for a promising third album, so we had a quick chat with the lovely gentlemen Karl and Darren (Guitar and Vocals), discuss some logistics and future plans…

WORDS: Rana Rassouli

WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Dublin, Ireland
FOR FANS OF:  Misery Index, Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Obituary, Kataklysm, Cannibal Corpse
LATEST RELEASE: Malevolent Reprisal (2010)
WEBSITE: Reverb Nation, Facebook, Youtube

I know you guys have had some amazing opportunities, such as winning the finals to proceed in playing the mighty Wacken Open Air and Bloodstock in the UK; how did you find these experiences? As a band, do you prefer smaller, more intimate shows or playing large venues?
Karl (Mulraney, guitars): “2012 was a great year for Warpath, winning the Wacken battle of the bands in Ireland was a huge step for the band and was a great motivator for us all. Getting the chance to represent Ireland on stage at Wacken was a dream come true for us and it won’t be forgotten anytime soon!

“Since our arrival onto the festival ground we were treated with so much respect and politeness. We luckily got pulled a great slot at around 11pm at night if I remember correctly, so when we walked out on stage there was a massive amount of drunken, partying, festival goers there waiting to hear some heavy shit! I think we’d all agree that it was the perfect gig. As far as playing small or large venues, I think we love to play both as much as each other. They’re both so different but both have huge amounts of atmosphere and great energy at the same time. Wacken was obviously an unbelievable example of an immense large venue show, but at the same time, we’ve had some just as immense shows in smaller venues in front of local crowds you know? Any show where we get to stand up there and go crazy is the perfect show for us!”

Can you give us a brief history of how the band initiated?
Darren (Keogh, vocals): “Well basically I wanted to get a brutal death metal band going and our former drummer Graham Dunne being my cousin and a great drummer I hit him up for interest and he was on board straight away, so then we went on a bit of a recruiting rampage asking around to see if anyone knew any good musicians and we ended up putting together Warpath’s first line up, that lasted about a week before our first guitarist left, so we were off to a great start haha. When we got a replacement for him, we practised on a weekly basis and just got the heads down and started writing non-stop and then recorded our first 3 song demo together and made as many copies as possible and handed them out for free to everyone at gigs, in pubs, you name it. We started gigging shortly after and it’s been onwards and upwards ever since, been plenty of line-up changes and stuff along the way leaving me as the only original member but I couldn’t be happier with the lads I have in the band now, it’s our strongest line up to date I think personally!

Can you tell us a little bit about the writing/recording process of your upcoming EP and what we should expect?
Karl: “At the moment we’re in-between on a few different titles for the upcoming album. We want the name to be just right and to represent the overall feel that we’re going for on this record, so we’re going to make sure it’s perfect before we completely decide on something. We’ll tell everyone the second we know ourselves though!

“Our idea for recording this album is basically just to write some of the heaviest stuff we’ve ever done. Joe and I have been working really hard on making sure every single riff is to all of the groups liking and that everything flows just perfectly. I think as far as the whole band goes, we’ve really matured in the last few years and I think this really shines through on the new material we’ve been working on. Because it’s a somewhat different line-up for the last albums, it’s obviously going to sound different in some ways, but our main focus has basically been to keep the overall brutal grooves that so heavily influenced the first two albums but add a whole new level of ideas and sounds in order to create something that will impress the fans and ourselves alike.

As a brutal death metal band, how would you encapsulate what we could expect from one of your shows?
Karl: “When it comes to our lives shows we just love to give it our all pretty much. We love to interact with the crowd and with each other and just enjoy ourselves really. So in terms of what you can expect, a lot of energy, a good atmosphere and a lot of talk about getting drunk!”

Touring with extreme death metal legends around Europe resulted in a split EP with Lividity, how did you find that collaboration? Is it a process you would recommend to upcoming bands as an enjoyable experience?
Darren: “Ah this question is making me miss the Lividity lads now haha, but yeah if other upcoming bands get the opportunity to do it and it’s something they want to do I don’t see how they could lose really. Both bands are getting twice the promotion because you are going to promote and sell it to your fans and the band you are doing the split with are going to promote and sell it to their fans giving both bands more ground covered in terms of promotion and possibilities of a bigger fan base. It was an honour for us to get to put out a release with one of the godfathers of Grind and one of the founders of Pornogrind especially after only being together as a band for a couple of years ourselves but we got on so well with those guys on tour we just said lets do it.”

As a 5 piece band, do you find your musical style to fluctuate or remain organic to your original sound? What bands in particular shape the overall sound of your band? Also, what is Warpaths’ overall aim, musically?
Karl: “I think generally there’s always going to be a touch of our original sound in our albums to come, but with as many line-up changes as the band has had, there’s always going to be new aspects thrown in there. I mean, with the line-up we have now we’ve basically been expanding on our overall sound while keeping the original style in mind at all times. It’s basically just the evolution and progression of the band, we’re always going to aim higher than the last album, so that could involve us trying new things and new ideas but that doesn’t mean we’ll be straying from the path of brutal death metal or anything, we’d just be putting our own stamp on it.

“I suppose we’re all influenced by much the same stuff, but that said, we all have our own personal preference too. As a general list of bands that have influenced us I would say bands like, Skinless, Cannibal Corpse, Misery Index, Dying Fetus, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Dyscarnate… the list goes on and on to be honest. I’d just end up listing most bands the death metal genre and I’m sure you don’t want that.
I’d say our overall aim as a band would be to create a catalogue of albums that would be memorable in terms of musicality and influencing other bands. A hard thing to do nowadays with the huge range of stuff that’s out there is to really stand out in the music scene for the right reasons, but I think I can speak for all of us by saying that that’s something we’re all planning on doing. That and world domination of course.

I know you guys released your debut album ‘Gorefare’ in 2007, following your second album which was entitled ‘Malevolent Reprisal’ which was released in 2010, what were the best moments you can recall from the recording sessions, and on the flipside, the worst?
Darren: “The best for me as a vocalist is always just sitting there and watching the other lads do their thing, and listening back to it and layer by layer hearing the music you wrote come to life on audio, You start getting excited about the release but also nervous because a vocalist always records last so you start thinking to yourself, shit the lads are after doing great I better do a good job now haha I’m sure other vocalist out there know what I’m talking about, you just always want to do the record justice and your band proud after they have done such a good job, you’re the last man standing but I love recording vocals so I’m always excited to get in there to lay shit down. The worst for me was probably showing up to the studio on a day that I didn’t have to record anything and I had been out the night before and I had a pounding headache and was feeling a bit worse for wear and sitting there listening to the same track over and over and over was a tough one to endure.

Lyrically, what would inspire you to put pen to paper?
Darren: “Our inspiration comes from anywhere really, a lot of different aspects. But the general idea is if it’s dark, evil or brutal in any way we can work with it and write a song around it. Being influenced by early death metal bands like Corpse, Obituary and Suffocation helped with the writing of the gore style lyrics on the first album “Gorefare”. From there I feel we matured musically so naturally the lyrics matured too. The second album “Malevolent Reprisal” is lyrically based around ideas of types of revenge, torture and people suffering from mental disorders, stuff like that. For the upcoming album we’ve really taken up to the next level musically and lyrically, we have ideas from Roman mythology to being drafted into war that are influencing the writing. We’ll pretty much write about anything if it suits the overall style of the band so we’re really looking forward to people hearing what we have prepared.”

How would you describe the dynamics of your local scene? Are there any upcoming bands in particular you would recommend for readers to check out?
Karl: “The Irish scene is surprisingly impressive actually. For such a small country there really is a huge amount of talent and a wide range of different styled bands. I’m always impressed when I see some of the younger death and thrash bands get up on stage and destroy the place, it’s great. There are also a lot of bands that have been going for a while that we all look up to like Abbadon Incarnate, Overoth and Colwar for example. They have great back catalogues that just illustrate the talent of the Irish metal scene perfectly. As far as bands to check out, I’d go with Psykosis, Zealot Cult,Killface, Zhora, and Zombified, off the top of my head. They’re all doing really great stuff and I’d seriously recommend them!”

After the release of your newest album, what are the plans for the rest of the year for you guys?
Darren: “Well first thing we will do after the album is released is promote the shit out of the album, Have an Album launch and we will try get more overseas gigs, tours and fests on the schedule and seeing as we are currently unsigned the first thing we will be doing once the album is recorded is start sending it away to Labels to see if anyone is interested in releasing it, So hopefully all goes well.”

Could you describe Warpath in 3 words?
Karl and Darren: “Bunch of idiots.”

Thank you! Any last words?
Karl: “Just thanks for taking the time to do the interview, we really appreciate it. Anyone who wants to get in touch can do so at our email warpathmetal@gmail.com and our Facebook page too. We’re also on Instagram (Username: Warpath_Ireland) for updates of our antics and Big Cartel if you want to but some merch!”


About Kez Whelan

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