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Caffery, Chris: W.A.R.P.E.D.

For those who are a little confused as to why Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist Chris Caffery has another solo album out, here's the scoop. On last years Faces, many will remember that a deluxe 2 CD version was also available that contained the mini-album God Damn War. Well, W.A.R.P.E.D. is basically that album it all it's full blown glory, now released on it's own merit with a title change, featuring six additional songs, a full booklet with lyrics and song explanations from Caffery. Sound like a good excuse to make the purchase-you bet!

Kicking off with the melodic yet heavy anthem "Home is Where the Hell Is", a chilling testament to the history of war and how it has effected our current way of life, Caffery's lead vocals sound strong and confident, backed up by his ever muscular guitar work. The piece "God Damn War" will be very familiar to those who had the Faces double album, this a brutal metal piece with a serious message. "Election Day" and "Erase" are two new pieces, the former a take on our election system and democracy in general, the latter dealing with the events of 9/11. The grinding metal/funk of "Fool, Fool" features one of the best guitar riffs on the album, sounding a little like a cross between Zack Wylde and Dimebag Abbott, while "Edge of Darkness" contains some churning guitar licks and effective call-and-answer vocals from Caffery. Long time Savatage fans will certainly love this tune! "Saddamize" is another of the original album pieces, a doomy metal number with some great ethnic instrumentation. On "I", Caffery seems to be asking the question of how much a soldiers life is worth, and how the world reacts to these deaths during the modern era.

"Iraq Attack" is basically just that, as Caffery leads us into the days and moments leading up to the US attack on Uraq. This is a doomy number featuring none other than Jon Oliva on lead vocals, adding his sinister tone and high pitched shrieks. The title cut is another Savatage styled piece, with chunky guitar riffs from Caffery and rapid fire drum work from Jeff Plate. "The State of the Head" is a manic and fast paced song, with wild guitar fills and powerful vocals from Caffery, not to mention a blazing guitar solo. The CD closes with four pieces from the original double album, the emotional, piano driven "Amazing Grace", the moody & catchy "Piece Be With You", "Beat Me, You'll Never Beat Me", and the jangly rocker "Curtains", a song that begs for the answers of when all this war will end.

There you have it, perhaps one of the most relevant concept albums released in recent memory. More so a piece that is driven by the lyrics rather than instrumental fireworks, W.A.R.P.E.D. remains a heavy document of one man's take on the state of the world. This is heavy metal music with a serious message folks.

Track Listing
1) Home is Where the Hell Is
2) God Damn War
3) Election Day
4) Erase
5) Fool, Fool
6) Edge of Darkness
7) Saddamize
8) "I"
9) Iraq Attack
10) W.A.R.P.E.D.
11) State of the Head
12) Amazing Grace
13) Piece Be With You
14) Beat Me, You'll Never Beat Me
15) Curtains

Added: November 4th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Chris Caffery Website
Hits: 3687
Language: english

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Caffery, Chris: W.A.R.P.E.D.
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-11-04 15:10:49
My Score:

When you begin playing your copy of W.A.R.P.ED. you will probably find it to be a little familiar to you. You see the reason is because this new CD release by Chris Caffery is not entirely new at all. If you were one of the smart ones, when Chris released Faces in 2004 he included a bonus CD that was meant for a future release. This CD was entitled God Damned War or "GDW" for short. It was a great inclusion as a bonus and really gave the Chris fan a large amount of music for the money. Very different however from the musical explorations on "Faces", "GDW" is a bit heavier and now with added tracks this has been released on the public as W.A.R.P.E.D.. Chris explores deeper into the themes of the War as he introduced on "GDW", the piece is definitely meant to be listened to from start to finish. "Home Is Where The Hell Is" kicks off the CD now but I did feel that "GDW" was the better track to start. I have liked the "Saddamize" track since I first heard it, and this one features Mark Wood of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The rest of the recording lineup on this piece is Jeff Plate (drums), Dave Z. (bass) and Paul Morris (keyboards). Jon Oliva makes an appearance in "Iraq Attack".

The CD comes in a highly illustrated package in which it seems Chris truly gave his design team a run for their money. With all the graphics and layout it's very impressive and adds to the vibe of the piece. The photos inside all relate to combat and arms and the booklet lines out the story very well. On the original "Faces" the story of GDW was very difficult to read due to incredibly small print. You can now appreciate it page by page and absorb the message that Caffery is delivering. Not only follow along but can also see the level of songwriter he has become over the years. Insightful and smart at times and bearing a cutting wit at others. The subject of War is never an easy thing to discuss as it touches very close to home in many people of all walks of life. Chris makes sure his irreverence if any is focused on the Political Machine rather than the enlisted men. "State Of The Head" and "Election Day" work along those themes. You also are given a code in which you can download an extra track from Chris' website. The track would not fit on the release without making this become a double.

I have to say that if you enjoyed the CD included with Faces then I highly recommend this for it does bring you enough of a difference from it's originally showcased form. I feel that the Savatage fans will run for this as well since the core following of the band tends to support the various members solo efforts. Chris has managed to give us music that holds true to the Savatage spirit but ventures off in his own direction without sounding repetitive. "Piece be With You", I'm out of here.

Caffery, Chris: W.A.R.P.E.D.
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-08-22 22:45:30
My Score:

Perhaps Chris Caffrey's double CD Faces / God Damn War ought to have been 2 separate CDs. Well, the second CD is now available on its own - W.A.R.P.E.D. is more or less the God Damn War CD, with extra tracks.

Caffrey is still clearly influenced by Savatage - witness the fact that Jon Oliva is featured on this record - but thankfully, he's not beholden unto his alma mater and has developed a voice of his own. And that voice is characterized by his attitude - his anger, his scathing lyrics, and his damn-the-politics way of telling it the way he feels. This is an anti-war anti-violence, anti-government piece, and the songs are darker than on his Faces record.

Listen for the odd juxtaposition of voice-overs, police sirens and a sitar in the intro to "Saddamize". Once you've absorbed the atmosphere of that song, listen again to the spoken words. The intro is followed by a distinctly oriental-flavored piece, with Chris's hard vocals bringing it back into the world of hard metal. "Amazing Grace" is a gentle piano piece with war-like sound-overs, and a strained, tortured voice singing the classic piece. "Election Day" is a clear dig at our system of democracy, and closing piece "Curtains" features a shouted chorus, with inserts of a bitingly cynical vocal line that could have been lifted from Broadway. Rather dark, very interesting.

W.A.R.P.E.D. is characterized by a lot of great guitar work, and several excellent, imaginative pieces ('Curtains", "Hell Is Home", "God Damn War", and particularly, "Saddamize"). But it also has a number of tracks best described as good though not particularly inspired. Chris Caffrey is clearly a talented, deeply experienced artist - and it seems that we have yet to see his best material.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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