Soldier - Defiant (CD Review)
03.Kill Or Cure
05.Fight Or Fall
06.Dead Man's Curve
07.Bullet Belt Blues
09.A Light To See The Darkness
10.Dont Come Crying To Me Defiant
Ian Alan Dick (Guitars)
Miles Goodman (Guitar)
Steve Barlow (Bass)
Richard Frost (vocals)
Tim Churchman (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 band 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'.A year later they released a new album 'Sins Of The warrior'.
We now jump to their 30th anniversary of the single 'Sheralee' and live appearences at the British Steel and Hard Rock Hell festivals, this lead to a determination to return to the scene and the band set about recording a new album.
The result was 2013's 'Dogs Of War', following year drummer Alex Smith was replaced by ex IQ man Tim Churchman and the band released a 2-cd compilation of mainly unreleased tracks from 1980 to 2007 and a bonus disc covering more recent recordings.
Opening with a seven minute epic called 'Conquistador' this sounds like a young progressive metal band creating clever layers and throwing in timing changes to make one helluva statement, add to this the experience of the musicians and what we have here is a stunning piece of music, full of melody, controlled agression and multi instrumental passages.
Next up is 'Leaving' a solid drum driven mid paced rocker, melodic vocals soar through the riffs, the next one 'Kill Or Cure' is more of the same, good quality hard driving music and some nice bass playing coming through my speakers as well.
Now 'Concrete Wilderness', a song i have played 3 times in a row, why? well first time i wasn't sure about it, second time i started to get used to its style and third time (now) whilst i'm writing this.So starts with a simple guitar riff then suddenly gets all "Judas Priest" riff wise, just as you start to get used to that, it slows down and gets all serious, then goes even slower with just a bit of guitar and a passionate vocal, then (keep up with me here) it bursts into life again all heavy and anthemic, nice guitar solo and crashing drums, speeds up again keeps a steady pace, then slows down again, then gets all epic towards the end.Right then by far the most intresting multi layered song so far and one of the best rock songs i have heard this year!
'Fight Or Fall' and 'Dead Mans Curve' are both solid rock songs, great riffs, great drums, pounding bass and excellent vocal delivery, nuff sed.
I wonder if 'Bullet Belt Blues' will be a blues song? No its not its another anthemic rocker and its not lyrically what i expected either, i thought it may be a homage to heavy metal fans, but instead its about the politics of war.
Love the phase effect on the drum intro to 'Six Hundred' which turns into another riff lead driving rocker, yes i know i've said that before in this review, but hey this music just drives along at such a great pace, its the best way i can describe it.
Please dont let 'A Light To See The Darkness' be a ballad, coz it sure as hell sounds like one so far, slow and moody guitar riff and nice vocals, but wait the tempo increases, there is life here (and some nice acoustic sounding guitar in the mix), so yes okay its a kinda ballad but there is enough structure here to avoid the cliche.
Finally wild riffs and frantic drumming introduces us to 'Dont Come Cring To Me Defiant', the vocal is at a different pace to the music, this works really well and it all comes together during the chorus, after which it goes crazy full speed on the drums again.
This is an album by a band who have clearly moved forward from the retro sounds of many a NWOBHM band, its a modern heavy rock album, well thought out, executed and produced.
For fans of: Neon Fly, Amulet, Saxon, Judas Priest, The Deep, Weapon (UK)