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Soldier: Dogs of War

Seems like so many of the old New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) acts who disappeared into thin air back in the 1980s are starting to make their comebacks 30 years later. Soldier are the latest to re-appear on the scene, who vanished in 1982 after a brief few years building a following in Northampton and getting signed to Heavy Metal Records. Actually, founding guitarist Ian Dick resurrected Soldier a decade ago, releasing the Infantrycide EP in 2003, the single "Murderess Night" in 2004, and a full-length CD in 2005 titled Sins of the Warrior. Here they are back again with the follow-up Dogs of War, as the 14 song CD shows that Soldier still know how to rock hard in the grand tradition of the NWOBHM greats.

Joining Dick here are original bassist Steve Barlow, drummer Alex Smith, singer Richard Frost, and guitarist Miles Goodman. The music on Dogs of War is quite melodic, with plenty of vocal hooks courtesy of Frost (an excellent singer) and loads of riffage & solos from Dick & Goodman. Less thrashy than some of their NWOBHM peers, Soldier take the melodic route best compared to perhaps Demon, though there are some doomy, atmospheric moments in the vein of Diamond Head or Quartz. The more uptempo songs are sure to please fans of Iron Maiden and Saxon, more so from an accessibility standpoint and the fact that the rhythms gallop along quite nicely, especially "Lock 'n' Load", "Forever", and the raucous title track. "Demon in the Room" is another frantic barnburner, with some great riffs and powerful vocals that make it a headbangers delight, and "I Am" features some really tasty twin-guitar harmonies for all the Thin Lizzy fans in the house. While the band never really gets too heavy here, I like the power of "Take Me Home" and "No Mans Land", both of which approach perhaps mid-80s Judas Priest in terms of power chord crunch and throw in a wealth of dual leads & harmonies. A nice bonus on the album is a re-recording of their 1982 single "Sheralee"-I've never heard the original but this is a pretty smokin' slice of melodic metal, and it has 1982 written all over it, complete with some sizzling guitar solos.

Though 14 songs makes Dogs of War a tad on the long side, it's still a very solid ride for anyone into catchy, melodic British heavy metal music. Add another band to the list of NWOBHM acts making a comeback in a big way.


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

Added: September 17th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1476
Language: english

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