Do you often do things backward? Apparently, I’m a pro at it. When I first discovered The Warning, I listened to and reviewed their sophomore album, Queen Of The Murder Scene, without realizing it was their second album. It took me most likely a good month after that review to realize that was not their debut album. But it’s not what order I do reviews in… It’s actually doing the reviews that count!
So since I knew QOTMS by the time I had started listening to XXI Century Blood thoroughly, the expectations were set somewhat high when I first heard the band’s debut album. Although I did think to myself since this is The Warning’s first album, it may not come off as powerful as the second one does. However, the girls proved me wrong.
XXI Century Blood is such an invitation to the theme of this album. Letting everyone know who The Warning is, where they come from and what kind of fight they are putting up in the world. Diving straight into the album with this first track, already showing how powerful this band is, even at younger ages. The lyrics of this song are so real and deep, "What will our future hold? /Will we regret our addiction to the rush?/We've always been crazy so let's fly away/And roam through the world that is slowly burning in flames". In Shattered Heart, lead guitarist and vocalist Daniela Villarreal's (21) vocals are extremely strong and telling a story, doesn't know how to be heartbroken. The chorus can instantly lock you into this album if the first track already hadn't. "You cut too deep/Left me here to bleed/And now I have to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart".
Moving on to Survive, the song that has been featured on Rock Band, Paulina Villarreal's, (drums and vocals, 19) vocals are making such a statement to the lyrics - "Don't come saying that you cared/That I was the one who was never there/Don't come with your lies in the air/You keep blaming me and it ain't fair/Don't come telling me that you're worried, That I'll be hurting if you're gone/Don't come to me saying that you're sorry/Your words mean nothing, your words mean nothing at all". In Wildfire, the track starts off slow with the vocals sound so beautiful, and then the song picks up as a guitar-driven track.
During Black Holes (Don't Hold On), which I have written about in another article, is definitely the most beautiful track on the album and Paulina's vocals sound amazing, although I believe this song is even better and more magical live. This is a song I have listened to many times since first discovering The Warning, and I have to admit, it has made me cried a couple of times. The lyrics that get to me the most are - "And the love that used to shine so bright was shattered like a satellite/And the venom starts to swallow me more, like black holes". I do highly recommend listening to this song at full blast as well as listening to any live version on YouTube. "Our Mistakes" offers somewhat more of a ballad-sounding track and the chorus makes you want to scream out for days. "Oh, it's always your fault, but I'm always there to take the blame/Oh, it's a dilemma between my heart and my head/Oh, and you played your part/And it's always me who has to pay, for all your mistakes".
In When I'm Alone, we're fully locked into the album and reaching out, crying out for help. Within each track, the guitar and bass riffs are so unique and individually cinematic. The chorus of this song, like most songs is so relatable for anyone, but might be a tad more relatable than others - "Nobody understands, My sanity's not going to last/And I'll smile through the night, Everyone will think I'm alright/But nobody knows what I'm dragging along/ When I'm alone". In Runaway, we hear somewhat a more chaotic side of the album, (hence the song title) speaking volumes - "We keep building all these walls and they love to see them fall/We were born to die, but you're not blinded by the light/You know what is wrong, what's right, you are going to survive". And then chorus screams even larger volumes - "Run, run, run away, run away child/If not from death, then run from life/Run, run, run away, run away child/Escape the truth, destroy the lies".
"Unmendable" leads us into the ending of the album. The song that's all about making amends, and then breaking them. Lies. Everything has become a war. And the feelings are not healing. "When you're all alone with no one to hold/Don't come near 'cause we won't be here/You left us lost when we gave you our trust/You left 'cause you chose them over us". "Copper Bullets" is all about the "picture-perfect" life... And how it's destroyed. The lyrics that really capture one of the more chaotic tracks are - "The broken glass starts falling down her golden blood spills on the ground/He grabs a gun, the empty sound/Copper bullets run her way, Love will be her end".
"Show Me The Light" truly feels the way to end this album, although there are two extra live tracks. I feel it's an extension from Black Holes, not only because Paulina is singing, but it also sounds similar to it. The chorus goes - "Tell me how it feels like, take off your disguise/Show me the light, bring me down to your level/Make me a rebel". In Exterminated, talks of "another war is beginning" sounds like it could lead into Queen Of The Murder Scene. And then we are lead into "River's Soul" with the chorus - "Let the waves take control, don't be afraid of what's to come/Just go with the flow of the river's soul". Although I have done my research on this album, and it's not a concept album but it does have a theme, it could be tied to The Warning's "Queen Of The Murder Scene", but it also might just be the absolute end of this album, extending from Show Me The Light.
However way we look into and explore this album, I think it's a fantastic album and it's the best introduction to The Warning, if you've never heard them. Take my advice - listen to XXI Century Blood, Queen Of The Murder Scene, Narcasita, Choke and then if you want to, even earlier tracks from The Warning. You can view other articles on The Warning here, including review of Queen Of The Murder Scene and single review of Choke. You can follow The Warning on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can also check out their Patreon.