It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.
We try real hard to avoid metal bands here in the old What's in a Name? column. We still haven't forgiven Owl Witch for the absolutely horrific research into Native American black magic they made us do, and that makes us damn leery of the delving into the mindset of metalogists ever again. But here we have an Arlington thrash group called Warbeast, and we like that word. It gets more fun every time you say it. Warbeast. Warbeast. Warbeast.
We've been slowly returning to a love of metal thanks in large part to a growing love of the excellent work being done by Cradle of Filth, who tricked us into being their fan again by putting topless chicks in their videos. As far as our untrained plate goes, we can get behind Warbeast. They do the Cookie Monster vocals, but unlike so many of their erring brethren they've decided that intelligibility is a plus and so we actually find ourselves singing along with track like "Born With a Blackened Heart."
It's exciting, the way the whole thing throbs against your temples like King Kong trying to get into Jessica Lange's pants in that De Laurentiis remake. The guitar lines are clean and melodic, and the whole thing throws you headfirst down a slight of stairs. It's fin is what we're trying to say.
That name though...
Warbeast? What kind of warbeast are we talking about here? There's a big difference between Hannibal crossing the Alps on elephants and the time the United States military thought it was a kinky idea to load bats with explosives and hope they'd roost in enemy territory after all. One idea is kicks so much ass that it requires special footwear, and the other is the kind of thing an Earthworm Jim villain would call Plan B.
Obviously the only solution was to mount our trusty war slow loris and eventually meet up with vocalist Bruce Corbitt, who was astride a more practical but infinitely less cute polar bear.
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"We just compiled a huge list of possible names for the band," said Corbitt. "Our former guitarist Rick Perry was the one that thought of the name Warbeast. After a process of elimination, Warbeast was chosen after a band majority vote. Now I think of my band and our logo creature/mascot. So together that means... an unleashed, unstoppable raging force that's ready to krush, pulverize and destroy all enemies in its path with a brutal wrath, uncontrolled energy and rampant intensity that will leave a devastating path of destruction."
Corbitt gave is pause... not hard to do when you're riding a slow loris. On one hand, we have to admire the man's absolute honesty. No matter how many different bands stroke us with their left hand while telling us in sign language with their right that their name came in a dream or has some otherwise deep and meaningful significance, we've been in a couple of bands and are perfectly aware of the boring naming by vote process that is the typical rock christening. The fact that our new growling friend owns up to that without any qualms is very heartening.
Which means that he's probably telling the truth in other regards. Either Warbeast is here to krush us so hard that crushing with a "c" will simply not do, or he's a violent Looney Tune who just believes it as fervently as Charlie Manson believed that the White Album was IKEA instructions for serial killer.
Growing uneasy, we hesitantly asked Corbitt what he would choose as his perfect beast of war, even going so far as to offer him the Gothic Council's time machine to fetch said monster for the purpose. We weren't going to really give it to him, of course. It's cued to our genetic make-up, like a Tardis but black and shaped like a coffin.
"Our logo creature/mascot is our ultimate Warbeast," said Corbitt. "Speaking of a time-machine.... That is one of his unique abilities. He is the definitive War-machine of any time period and War... past, present or future. He can alter his appearance and size depending on what's needed for each particular battle. He can go back to World War II as sort-of-a Terminator/Beast the size of Godzilla. Fully equipped with Helicopter propellers as weapons and armored with parts off of Tanks. He can go back in time to the days of the Romans or he can do into the distant future. We call him... GAMMORTIS."
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Do you know what Grammortis translates as from the Latin? It means "death learning." We. Are. SO. Fucked.
Warbeast (n) 1. A beast used for war. 2. Metal you can suss out while bleeding to death. 3. Oh bloody hell, we left the Goth Tardis unlocked!
Warbeast plays the The El Birthday Metalfest on Saturday December 17 at Rudyard's with Project Armageddon, Venomous Maximus, Sanctus Bellum, Las Cruces, and Mr. Plow.