September 28, 2007

Killarmy - Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars (August 5, 1997)

If you don't consider yourself even remotely close to being a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan, you should stop reading this post right now. It's okay, I give you permission. Check back in a bit, and hopefully there will be something else that you will enjoy. For everyone else, please continue.

Killarmy is one of the bigger Wu-affiliated groups out there, but if you're not a fan of the Clan, there is no point in listening to their debut, Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars, because it's not going to be the album that changes your mind. Made up of six rappers you've never heard of (Killa Sin, 9th Prince, Shogun Assasson, Dom Pachino, Beretta 9, and Islord), Killarmy dares to take the kung-fu stylings of the Wu into a new dimension: namely, one comprised of soldiers at war. (I suppose this review complements the Capone-N-Noreaga review in that respect.) You would expect that to be a tough sell in any time period, especially in today's political climate, and you would be right, since Killarmy hasn't sold nearly as well as they would have liked. (Side note: Killarmy's third album was released on September 11, 2001, and ever since then, they have not produced anything as a group. Coincidence? Probably.)

Their debut album features references to combat, samples from war flicks, and Five-Percent philosophy, which helps identify it as a Wu-Tang project. Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars is almost exclusively produced by 4th Disciple, with only a couple of assists by The Rza, and was released in 1997 on Wu-Tang Records, with distribution handled by Priority Records, a relationship that would dissolve quickly, since the only people who purchase these types of Wu-Tang albums are hardcore fans like myself, and there aren't a lot of us out there. The only guest appearances are made by Wu members or affiliates that were inconsequential, a far cry from the Sunz Of Man debut, which featured Method Man and Ol' Dirty Bastard.

By its very nature, Killarmy is a group that you would only pay attention to given its affiliation; they cannot function as a stand-alone group. At first, it's even hard to distinguish between the six artists on the same songs. It should be noted that there are no songs on the album that feature all six members side by side. That may just be due to time constraints (and the fact that Islord was locked up for the majority of the recording sessions), but I think it says a lot about the group's identity. Hell, even the original nine members of the Wu knew when to act as a team.


It starts off sounding like a bad rap album intro (with a sample snatched from an unidentifiable newsmagazine), but turns into a really good way to start the album. Killa Sin, the first rapper here, is the one who would go on to sporadic guest spots on Wu solo albums; 9th Prince, the second artist, has a speedy yet incredibly awkward flow, and probably secured his place in Killarmy by birthright; he is The Rza's younger brother. Shogun Assasson sounds okay, I suppose. 4th Disciple's beat drowns out all of the rappers, though.

Dom Pachino, probably the most prolific Killarmy member out right now, has never really impressed me, but then again, that can be said for every member of the group. Method Man's official seat warmer pops up for unknown reasons (walked into the wrong studio, maybe?).

This "the beat is better than the lyrics deserve" thing? Consistent throughout the entire album. I know, right?

Beretta 9 is now better known for assisting The Rza on production duties (listen to Method Man's 4:21: The Day, seriously, listen to it; it barely sold any copies ). Too bad he didn't do anything but rhyme on this track; it's really freakin' boring.

Islord makes his first of two appearances alongside 9th Prince. He doesn't sound bad, but he sounds out of place; this can probably be attributed to his time in the clink, since he wouldn't have been able to adapt his flow to match the rest of the group. This song is okay, but nothing special.


This is just a skit. Feel free to breeze right past it.

The first single, featuring Hell Razah and Prodigal Sunn from Sunz Of Man, as well as the final appearance from Islord on the album. This song, which originally dropped in 1996, was produced by The Rza, and I clearly remember this song as being the one that turned the tides in my mind of the wide-spanning ocean that is my theory that Rza could do no wrong. Interesting side note: in doing my research, it seems that the original plan for Killarmy and Sunz of Man was for them to be one giant supergroup, not unlike the former Black Knights Of The North Star; evidence of this idea can be found on the Sunz Of Man track "Soldiers Of Darkness" (one fo my favorite favorite Wu-affiliate tracks), released in 1995, which features both 9th Prince and Killa Sin. It's too bad that idea never panned out; it could have made for some interesting musical choices.

Goddamn, some of these songs are boring as hell. This will inevitably result in more hate mail from Wu fans, especially those at Ultimate Wu, but I have to speak the truth, and don't lie to yourselves, nobody listens to this album with the same frequency as Enter The Wu-Tang.

This is probably the first single you've heard, since they actually played the video on BET. Dom Pachino (also known as PR Terrorist - bet that name doesn't fly in 2007, huh?) still doesn't do anything for me, but overall, everyone comes off pretty well over 4th Disciple's dark piano keys.

9th Prince and Killa Sin, who appear on a lot of tracks together and should have just gone off and been a duo like Wu-Syndicate, surprised the hell out of me on this track back in 1997. This song is fantastic; now this is more like it!

Does anyone remember Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, where Katherine Heigl (of Knocked Up fame) played Steven Seagal's daughter? Yeah, you guessed, it: that bit of trivia is more interesting that this abortion of a song, which would have been better left on the cutting room floor. Speaking of Knocked Up, it's been proven that star Seth Rogen is a huge Wu fan; did you like how I tied that all together?

I'm about 4% certain that the U-God album has songs that are more interesting than the majority of Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars. Coming from me, that's a pretty harsh criticism. Then again, I'm only 4% certain: God forbid I actually listen to that album to fact-check.

Getting back on the right track, 4th Disciple provides his most Rza-esque beat ever, while Shogun Assasson, Dom Pachino, Beretta 9, 9th Prince, The Professor, and Mary Ann rip it up. The Raekwon sample in the chorus is much appreciated; however, it only leads you to daydream about what could have been if the other Wu members even knew Killarmy existed.

Not great, but not horrible.

Rza supposedly co-produced this song, but I don't hear any of his handiwork here; in fact, this song sounds like shit.

Since Masta Killa subconsciously knew his solo album wouldn't come out until 2004 anyway, my guess is that he decided he could either work and get paid, or not work and starve. Masta swoops in for the final verse and blows everyone else out of the building, over a beat that sounds like it sampled Johnny Mandel and Mike Altman's composition "Suicide Is Painless" (also known as the theme song from M*A*S*H), almost blatantly so, but since they are given no credit in the liner notes. I'm hoping that they received some sort of compensation. Royalty check, bag of weed, anything!

FINAL THOUGHTS: Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars is a debut album by a six-man group who aspire to one day be in the shoes of the Wu. The problem is, lightning only struck once. The Wu are comprised of eight good solo artists (and U-God) who sound confident when alone or as part of a group. Killarmy, conversely, features six artists who have not established any individual identity, but still insist on pretending they are solo artists grouped together; hence, all of the Dom Pachino solo albums. Wu fans probably already own this one, and it's not the worst album I've ever heard; hell, it's not even the worst Wu-affiliate album I've heard today. But to recommend this is a stretch.

BUY OR BURN? If you don't like the Wu-Tang Clan, don't even bother with this one; rudimentary knowledge of the philosophical side of the Clan is required to even begin to appreciate the concept of this CD. If you like the Wu, you may still not want to bother, since the majority the album's musical compositions are ruined by the rhymes of six artists who, with time, became more confident in their abilities. Maybe 1997 was too soon to release anything from Killarmy. Anyway, burn this one; save your money for The 8 Diagrams, which the Wu swears is coming out in November. (Be good, and you'll see a Gut Reaction for that album, too!)

BEST TRACKS: "Full Moon"; "Dress To Kill"; "Camouflage Ninjas"; "Wu-Renegades"


Sunz Of Man - The Last Shall Be First


  1. I guess they figured that if they made the first and last verses alright, people wouldn't mind napping though the middle verses. But track 9 is still has one of the beats ever.

  2. I absolutely loved this album. I still play it to this day and it's fucked up that their last album had to come out on 9/11 and in turn kill their whole career.


  3. I don't know whatever happened to 4th Disciple and it bothers me.
    Dude was sick. His beats were very good. Incidentally, one of my favourite beats ever is Tai Chi (Killah Priest), with a sample found by RZA and production by 4th Disciple.
    As far as Silent Weapons is concerned, I think it's one of the albums with the best production ever.
    too bad it had Killarmy rapping on it...

  4. killarmy is the best there's no contest fuck the haters that diss it they deserve the bad ass beats they got from 4th recognize true hip hop all their albums are straight up fire dom p is sick as fuck . maxx you are a faggot they are so different than anyone else outin the rap game you dont know what you are talking about. you dont even have anything on the blacknights you need to stop writingreviews because you are a close minded fuck

  5. This is a fantastic album, I'm still playing this from time to time. Killah Sin is a very, very gifted rapper, and I don't see what is the problem with "burning season"...

  6. Worst review I saw on this site
    This album is a timeless classic
    You don't like universal soldiers??? That's an insult

  7. this reviewer needs a smack in the face

  8. AnonymousMay 06, 2010

    Some people don't know shit about real rap so they post useless fuckin reviews. Dude go getta life or get the fuck off the net coz we are a lot who know about these guys and their music plus their weaknesses. Go listen to your fuck lil wayne, kanye gay lines.

  9. This is an idiotic review. This is the album 10 years ago a ,then new, friend of mine made me listen to because I said "I like all sorts of music except Heavy Metal and Hip Hop", after looking at me like I was an Idiot (guilty).

    It changed my mind about what hip hop was or was capable of. It is not "hardcore" or innaccesible, it's just good. Really good.

  10. Lol @ these butthurt comments. Anyway, "Dress To Kill" is an amazing song. I thought Swinging Swords sounded incredible, so I don't see why you didn't really care for it. Half of this album is really special to me, the other half is incredibly meh. I still like listening to it all the way through; it just kinda works.

  11. Wow... You have no credibility whatsoever to review this album. This album surpassed Enter The Wu-Tang and is one of the most solid releases ever. You obviously aren't a true Wu fan to determine that Killa Sin can outshine any member of the Clan. This is trash. This is the ONLY album I can listen to front to back, over and over again and it never gets boring. Watch your ass in the streets kid. This website is terrible.

    1. You are definitely the only person on the planet who has ever expressed that sentiment. Good luck with that.

  12. This as incredibly pretentious review.

    This is perhaps the most underrated hip-hop album of the 90's and is right up there with 36 chambers.

  13. I really like Fair, Love & War (good beat, good rhymes, dopest track off the album if you ask me), I don't understand why you don't like it, well, everybody has a different taste for music and who am I to try to change people's minds. I like your reviews, though, I get a little angry when you say something bad about certain songs that I like, but I ain't gonna waste my time insulting you or nothing like that. By the way, please make a review of Madlib's "Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes", that's one of my favorite instrumental albums.

  14. This album is most dope and the beats and lyrics are incredible. I can't understand how any real hop fan can critique and discredit the work put into this masterpiece. Go blast your little Wayne

    1. I love how a lot of people apparently believe being a "real" hip hop fan and critiquing work you find to be inferior to be mutually exclusive. Are "real" hip hop fans supposed to accept everything and not have an opinion? What's the point of that?

  15. LOL Max you sure got chewed out on this one!

  16. Why oh why didn't Killa Sin release a solo album produced by 4th Disciple? Y U No do dat?

    TBH, he's the only one who sounds like he belongs around a microphone on here. (Read: He's consistently awesome.) The rest are just too fucking meh. And fuck Islord's eternally-prepubescent voice. He's the Shorty Shitstain of the group to me.