Thursday, 1 August 2013

Soldier - Dogs Of War (CD Review)

01.Dogs Of War
02.I Can’t Breathe
03.The Eye
05.Lock N’ Load
07.The Demon In The Room
08.I Am
10.Take Me Home
11.No Mans Land
12.Sheralee (2012 Version)
13.Crash Course
14.The Hanging Tree

Ian Alan Dick (Guitars)
Miles Goodman (Guitar)
Steve Barlow (Bass)
Richard Frost (vocals)
Alex Smith (Drums)

Formed by Ian Dick in Northampton in 1979, the band soon built up a strong following, after releasing a demo early in 1982 they were signed to Heavy Metal Records and release the single 'Sheralee, a year later after a live album the abnd split.

Returning in 2003 with a new Ep titled 'Infantrycide' followed by a compilation album 'Heavy Metal Force' in 2004 and a single 'Murderess Night'.
Seemed the band were back in buisness and a new album 'Sins Of The warrior' was released in 2005 which featured the epic song 'Starhaven' amongsest others.

We then move forward to their 30th anniversary of the single 'Sheralee' and live appearences at the British Steel and Hard Rock Hell festivals, this lead to a more stable line up and a determination to return to the scene and the band set about recording a new album.

So after 34 years, numerous line up changes and releases the band now present their new album on their own label, and its time to crank the volume and hit "play".

Opening track 'Dogs Of War' pretty much blasts right through! its a fairly typical post NWOBHM sound, fortunatley its does not go down that "Thrash" route that some make the mistake of, in fact this is quite a mature sound with some great guitar work and a stong clear vocal.

There are some echos of proto-doom lurking in 'I Can’t Breathe' a bit like Quartz jamming with Diamond Head.

Now this one definatley has a Doom element to it, in fact i swear i detect some Iommi riffage in 'The Eye'.

'Fireflies' returns to a more upbeat tempo, some nice backing vocals on this one making a definate sing a long at gigs.

Wow 'Lock N’ Load' really rocks! a great track, pure old school NWOBHM, and absolute 100% headbanging masterpiece, solid vocal, awesome twin guitar attack, solid drums and punching bass.

The pace slows for 'Bedlam', a near blues structure reminicent of early Mamas Boys, about half way through the song moves up a gear for some high vocals then end with some clever timing changes leading to a great solo, simply put another great track.

Frantic drumming and guitar greets 'The Demon In The Room' then turning to a mid tempo rhythm punctuated with that occasional frantic break.

'I Am' and 'Forever' both have a Maidenesque quality but with much better vocals.

'Take Me Home' and 'No Mans Land' have a very modern british metal feel, solid and full of power.

The first of three bonus tracks included on the cd is a new version of 'Sheralee', weird hearing it with a different vocalist, still sounds good though.

'Crash Course' is not what i thought it would be (a cover of the Budgie song that was fucked up by Shitallika) but a storming little instrumental with some excellent riffing.

Finally 'The Hanging Tree', its an acoustic ballad its okay but seems to be a touch pointless and doesnt really match the tone or quality of the rest of the album.

All in all a solid british rock go grab a copy!

Rating 9/10

For fans of : Voodoo Six, Amulet, Diamond Head, Cavalar, Cauldron, White Wizard


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