Song of the Day: Warlord - Where the Road Forks

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If you asked me what the heaviest Christian release of all time was, a strong contender would be the self-titled EP from Portand’s Warlord (not to be confused with the secular heavy metal band of the same name). One of the earliest releases on the Tooth & Nail imprint, Solid State Records, their debut EP featured deep, dark, heavy riffs and lengthy songs. In fact, this 4-song effort clocks in at longer than some full-lengths, due to the longevity of the tracks.

Often overlooked and underappreciated, the release was the first of its kind in the Christian market. Featuring a combination of slow and heavy tunes with hardcore riffs, it was neither heavy metal nor hardcore punk, but a hybrid genre known as “sludgecore” or “sludge metal.” It was also a pioneering release in that each of the 4 songs featured worshipful lyrics, with some of the tracks featuring themes lifted straight out of the Church hymnal, thus strangely aligning the band with the “alternative worship” movement we highlighted last week.

The band released this legendary EP, and then one more full-length for Solid State before calling it quits. Here’s the 9+ minute track “Where the Road Forks” from the debut EP.

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August 9, 2020 12:38 pm

oh….my…..GOODNESS!!! How have I never heard of this band?! This is sooooo good!!! It’s so difficult to find good Christ centered doom/sludge!!! The only other band I’ve ever thought does it well is The Monarch from British Columbia!!! Thank you, Loyd, for introducing me to this band!!! Christ bless you!!!

Jordan Johnson
August 7, 2020 3:03 pm

I thought I was the only one who even knew this band ever existed lol. I really like this EP, their full length not so much…

Matthew Alexander
August 7, 2020 1:53 pm

This album was so different from anything that was released in the world of Christian music at the time. Maybe Today is the Day or Karp would be the closest point of reference in mainstream music, but Warlord was heavier than both. They might possibly be the most under appreciated band in T&N/Solid State history. I hope Someday that this EP and “…Foe Hammer” Will be pressed to vinyl.

Last edited 1 month ago by Matthew Alexander
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