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new wave of british heavy metal blog Soldier Defiant Album Review

NWOBHM Blog Defiant Review

Having their origins in the original New Wave of British Heavy Metal around 1980 or so, Soldier return with a stonking new album – Defiant. Whilst the NWOBHM roots are still there to be heard the band has put together here an extremely fine album with much variety in pace and delivery full of mature and well delivered songs which give up more on each listen as the ear picks up on everything that’s going on.

All the way through, Soldier show their chops and ability to switch styles and moods at will. Take the opener, Conquistador. A seven minute prog/metal epic starting with an excellent riff and drum before it all kicks off in some style and rocks along with a driving riff and a contrasting melodic vocal.

The changes in pace throughout make for a tremendous listen. Check out the “twiddly bit” in the middle then the crunch that follows when everyone else comes in again. Here’s the video so you can hear for yourself what a top cut it is:

Leaving and Kill or Cure take us back to the NWOBHM days though with a modern feel. Concrete Wilderness is another ambitious, scopey epic a-la Conquistador full of the big chords, solos, slow bits, slower bits and a huge crescendo finale. More sort of proggy NWOBHM. Really showcases the writing and arrangement talent in the band. Always expecting the unexpected.

Six Hundred is a similar epic though more straightforward in style as it hurtles along with guitars all over the place. A Light to see in the Darkness gives more of the band’s variation. A slowish, moody style with a very fine vocal. A track which mixes it up even more.

Don’t Come Crying to Me (Defiant) is a bone-crunching closer which has all the required elements. Riffs, drums, bass, the twin guitar interplay and more fine vocals from Richard Frost.

There is nothing not to like here on Defiant. We are, as I type, at the mid-point of 2015 and this is my album of the year so far. It’s NWOBHM, it’s “traditional” heavy metal, it’s progressive and overall it really rocks hard with those twists and turns really working.

Defiant is available from Soldier’s web site. I suggest you get along their now and pop your order in:

http://soldiernwobhm.com

Read more http://newwaveofbritishheavymetal.com/soldier-defiant-review



Metal Temple Dogs of War Review

Click here for the full review.

Power & Glory Fest Review

The Rock Den, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK 23rd August 2014

Check it out here.

New Wave of British Heavy Metal Blog Chronicles Review

Check it out here.

John Tucker review of Chronicles

SOLDIER – Chronicles (Starhaven Records)

To read the full review go here:

 http://www.johntuckeronline.co.uk/soldier-chronicles.html


Soldier interview with Italian webzine

For full interview click here


Andy Machin’s Review of Live @ The Heathery

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Ian Dick • 0 Comments

As per previous post, thanks to Soldier guitarist Ian Dick my review copy of the above arrived and given much listening pleasure. A real treat to hear the band as it was thirty years ago recorded at a gig in Wishaw. One should point out that this is very much an “as it was” recording. Back then in the halcyon days of NWOBM cutting edge technology in this case was a recording from the mixing desk on to a stereo cassette recorder. No editing, no overdubs.

What you hear is what went out on that night back in 1983. Ian’s done a fine re-mastering job and this is as much a live album as you’re ever likely to listen to from NWOBHM history.

The (then) Solider line-up of Garry Phillips, Nick Bicknell, Nick Lashley, Steve Barlow and Steve Taylor showing the Scots how it’s done live and raw. One gets the impression that the crowd may have been a little “difficult” going by the urgings of Phillips to get them in to it. Surely can’t have been the music that was the problem.

The seven track running order captures the band performing energetically and enthusiastically with some finesse. Never a band to offer up constant blunt powerchord stuff, Soldier had both the riffery and the musical ability to create songs which were forceful, melodic and well structured. That is certainly evidenced in this performance as it the fine guitar work on offer.

All that comes over well enough with a tight performance captured as it was on the night. The opener of Man From Berlin sounds Lizzy-esque to these ears chugging along nicely with a catchy chorus and tasty lead breaks. Lost in Time slows it down a bit proving that Soldier can do the slow blues stuff too. Force, Sheralee (of course), Bad to Good and Stay all deliver a powerful blast of sound before Infantryside (bit of an epic) closes it out.

Marvellous indeed to be taken back thirty years and be able to hear this. You should too – not just as a bit of New Wave of British Heavy Metal nostalgia either. The songs stand up well today too alongside anything else of the genre. Won’t break the bank either at just a few quid from the Soldier web site.

Newwaveofbritishheavymetalblog




John Tucker’s Live @ The Heathery Review

Posted on June 2, 2014 by Ian Dick

soldier live at the heathery CDSOLDIER – Recorded Live @ The Heathery, Wishaw In Scotland 1983 (Starhaven Records)


Recently re-discovered in the Soldier archives and lovingly remastered at guitarist/founder member Ian Dick’s Starhaven Studio ‘Recorded Live @ The Heathery…’ captures the band onstage on the penultimate night of their February 1983 Scottish tour. And despite blizzards, the bitterly cold conditions at times and the stage collapsing as the band went into their first number on the night the cassette tape rolled, the CD showcases a band who are finally becoming recognised – rather belatedly, but better late than never – as one of the NWOBHM’s biggest and brightest talents.


By March 1982 Dick had left the band and was replaced by seventeen year old Nick Lashley – a stable line-up was never something Soldier encumbered themselves with! – and it was Lashley, vocalist Garry Phillips, guitarist Nick Bicknell and the Steves Barlow and Taylor (on bass and drums respectively) who headed north for Scotland and pulled off eight gigs in nine days. In many ways ‘Recorded Live @ The Heathery…’ is the companion piece to the ‘Live Forces’ official live bootleg cassette the band released in 1983, covering as it does roughly the same ground song-wise and featuring the same musicians – what in fact would end up being Soldier’s last touring line-up.


The seven tracks captured here showcase the diversity of the band, from the slow, bluesy ‘Bad To Good’ through the now instantly-recognisable single A-side ‘Sheralee’ to the hyperactive neck-wrenching ‘Man From Berlin’. The recording comes straight off the desk so what you hear is what you get, but for fans of the band or of the NWOBHM in general that’s no bad thing: guitars squeal out of tune at times and the backing vocals veer between pitch-perfect and horrendous, but the whole thing brings to life the essence of the period – the excitement, the struggles, the highs and lows – and encapsulates beautifully in 38 minutes just what it was to be in a metal band at this time. And again and again, as the songs hit home like body blows, you have to wonder why a band that wrote such great songs as ‘Force’ and ‘Infantrycide’ never got the chance to record an album back in the day.


Ah, what might have been… A month after the tour Barlow would quit, and then Phillips left shortly after. Replacing them with ex-Girl vocalist Phil Lewis and bassist Mark McKenzie (who’d had a very brief stint with Gaskin) could have yielded dividends, but the Lewis/Bicknell/Lashley/McKenzie/Taylor line-up recorded just one two-track demo (featuring ‘Heartbreak Zone’ and the oddly-named ‘Charlotte Russe’) as a potential showcase for Music For Nations before calling it a day.


‘Recorded Live @ The Heathery…’ is a little piece of history, a snapshot in time which says so much more about the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal than a thousand words ever could. Grab your credit card and visit www.soldiernwobhm.com


© John Tucker June 2014



Brofest 2 – Northumbria Students Union 28/02 – 02/03/2014

Posted on March 10, 2014 by admin

Posted on March 10, 2014 by Dennis Jarman in Event Reviews


Brofest 2 will be etched in my memory for a long time for sure. 26 bands over 3 days with a weekend ticket being a ridiculously cheap £25 and day tickets £10 for Friday and £15 each for Saturday and Sunday. I travelled up from Crewe to  Newcastle on the Friday morning more or less straight from my night shift so was awake about 35 hours before sleeping but I was talking to fans at Brofest 2  who had travelled from Romania, Greece, Spain, Germany and the United States which made my journey seem like a walk to the corner shop!

So after checking in at the hotel it was off to the venue and the thought of seeing bands like Vardis, Fist and Hollow Ground after being a fan of NWOBHM from the beginning made this 50 year old feel 17 again. The venue was just opening as I got there and I had a few words with the 3 organisers  Stuart Langridge, Stuart Bartlett and Martin Wolfsgard. How they got so many bands here for the ticket price is beyond me as one major UK rock festival charges £25 just to park your car for one day!  Friday was wisely the shortest day of Brofest as the doors opened at 5pm with the 1st band Toledo Steel due onstage 40 minutes later. As Van Halen would say, Toledo Steel, the youngest band here,  “hit the ground running”  with opening number ‘Speedkiller’, it’s ‘Am I Evil’ type intro built into a solid metal song which bode well for the rest of the set. Other highlights were the chugging power metal of ‘Escape From Alcatrazz’ and a  new song called ‘Children Of The Sun’.


Next up, all the way from Richmond, Virginia in the US were 5 piece band Volture. Brofest 2 was their 1st of 2 UK dates and their 40 minutes was chock full of raging metal with Jack Bauer hitting some ear piercing notes and they finished their set with a killer cover of the NWOBHM classic ‘Set The Stage Alight’ by Weapon. So 2 bands in and the bar was set high as Newcastle based legends Warrior reformed especially for Brofest 2 and the crowd lapped up their dynamic hard rock. Set highlight for me was a gritty ‘Stab You In The Back’. One of the bands I was eagerly looking forward to seeing was next on, the mighty Battleaxe! Their set was a headbanger’s heaven and was split between older material and tracks off their monstrous new album Heavy Metal Sanctuary, the title track from which was my anthem of Friday night! Vocalist Dave King stalked the stage nailing every note and the guitar tone of Mike Percy had to be heard to be believed especially on new song ‘Revolution’ which preceded a double whammy of ‘Chopper Attak’ and ‘Burn This Town’.


And so it was time for the Friday night headliners. I never saw FIST back in the day so this was another highlight for me and they did not disappoint with a rocking but melodic set full of classics which included ‘You’ll Never Get Me Up In One Of Those’, ‘Dog Soldier’, ‘SS Giro’ and a timeless ‘Name, Rank And Serial Number’ with original members Keith Satchfield on guitar and Harry ‘Hiroshima’ Hill on drums grinning throughout the set.


And so to Saturday, day 2 of Brofest 2 and up early with a raging hangover and a mad taxi dash to Wetherspoons for a beer and fry up before the 1st band at midday. It was a long day with 11 bands on in 11 hours which is as good a time as any to give a shout out to the road crew for a fast change over for every band  all weekend! Another smart time saver was there were no backdrops to change over as the bands’ logo was projected onto a screen behind the drum kit. So on to the 1st band of the day which fell to Preston based Ascalon who provided the perfect hangover cure with a set full of melodic heavy metal. ‘Daylight Robbery’ featured some neat guitar interplay from Matt Gerrard and Chris Marsh, ‘Red Leather’ was like modern day NWOBHM and their self titled song ‘Ascalon’ came over like classic UFO. Ascalon also threw in a cover, a superb rendition of Saxon’s ‘Princess Of The Night’! Witchtower strode on next with a very heavy set with only the slow chugging of ‘Wrecking Ball’ for time to breathe before covers of ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ and ‘Angelwitch’.


Dark Forest may sound like a black metal band on paper but they were the opposite. A very tight band coming over like a heavier Queensryche with a charismatic vocalist and got the biggest crowd response of the day so far. It was only 3pm when Ruler hit the stage and things got a lot heavier. Apart from being the 1st band all weekend to wear spandex, they delivered a set of fast and heavy power metal backed by some histrionic vocals and stage moves that the Scorpions would have been proud of and one of my favourite sets of the weekend. Next up were  Berlyn who returned to the stage especially for Brofest 2 since they split in 1983 and we got a set of bruising hard rock with rasping vocals similar to Angry Anderson from Rose Tattoo. Song of the set was ‘Judas’, a real slow burner in the vein of ‘Heaven And Hell’. Sparta were another band to rise from the ashes. Formed in 1979 and splitting in 1990 they were given a warm welcome at Brofest 2 and their high energy set included their classic ‘Fast Lane’.


The quality just came on coming as Damascus took their turn and yet another example of a classic band still calling the shots with their most memorable songs played were ‘Midnight Train’ and a heavy ‘Woman In Black’. Hollow Ground are mainly remembered for their classic ‘Flying High’ which they opened with thus winning the crowd over immediately but their punchy set had songs to match with ‘Rock On’, ‘Easy Action’ and ‘Fight With The Devil’ with the vocalist smiling so much he could have given himself lockjaw! Another exclusive for Brofest 2 was next as Portsmouth based Truffle laid on a  storming set with a hard hitting ‘Street Fighter’ featuring some blistering twin guitar workouts. Another expectant set for me was Gaskin who also have been around a long time and have a back catalogue to fill twice their allotted stage time with ease. They opened with the melodic ‘Sweet Dream Maker’ and followed that with another oldie ‘Tomorrow Today’. The heaviest song of the set was ‘The Contract’ from their most recent release ‘Edge Of Madness’ as the set ended with a riff heavy gem of ‘I’m No Fool’. Worthy of mention is drummer David John Norman who managed to play tonight as he was involved in a serious car crash a few weeks ago. Saturday headliners were Fast Kutz, a local early 80′s band who were formed by current Black Rose guitarist Kenny Nicholson and vocalist Keith Davidson. I think Black Rose bassist Kiko Rivers was playing to but not too sure. Anyway, their  set consisted of high octane heavy rock featuring tracks from Fast Kutz’s only album ‘Burnin’ and tracks from Hammer and Holland, previous bands of Kenny’s. The wise cracks and powerful vocals from Keith made this one of my performances of the day with some glorious guitar hero histrionics from Kenny at the beginning of ‘Midnight Love’ ably backed up on rhythm guitar by Ian Gillson and thundering versions of ‘Play With Fire’ and ‘Burnin’ ensured their set was well received.


Another day, another hangover which I could have done without as I was due to interview the headlining act Vardis at midday so a quick dash to town for a beer and a monster fry up stood me in good stead for the final day of Brofest 2 with yet another 11 quality bands to look forward to. So after my interview with Vardis I managed to catch half of the set by opening band Evil Blood. Formed in Croatia in 1983 but now relocated to the UK, Evil Blood, as there name would suggest, delivered some potent thrash metal. Highlights were ‘Ave Satanas’ sounding like prime Venom and the riff of ‘Countess Laura Whore’ could have stripped the paint off the walls! Another strong opening to the day. Keeping up the pace were the next band Eliminator who headed over the Pennines to deliver 40 minutes of no frills metal. With feet firmly placed on the monitors, lead vocalist Dave P gave a lung busting performance as set closer ‘Danger In The Skies’ rounded off an intense performance by Eliminator.


Another band I was looking forward to was Soldier judging by the strength of their latest album Dogs Of War and their set was split between this and earlier material. Off the latest album, highlights for me were a rampant ‘Dogs Of War’, ‘I Can’t Breathe’, ‘The Hanging Tree’ but these were surpassed by a showstopping ‘No Man’s Land’. A previously unreleased song called ‘Man From Berlin’ featured a Thin Lizzy like twin guitar intro from Miles Goodwin and Ian Dick. Ian is the founder member of Soldier and no Soldier set would be complete without their classic number ‘Sheralee’ with vocalist Richard Frost urging the crowd to sing the chorus. Lichfield based 3 piece Bashful Alley, formed in 1980,split in 1984 but gave it another go from 2013 brought an almost Status Quo type boogie tinged with early Budgie which saw them play to a full room here. Their infectious grooves came to the fore in ‘My My My’ and the classic ‘Running Blind’. Maybe this performance will lead to a long awaited debut album.


Playing Brofest for the 2nd time, Spartan Warrior were next up with brothers David and Neil Wilkinson still with the band after over 30 years. Vocalist David apart from having a fine range twirls his scarf draped mike stand like Steven Tyler only with much less of an ego. Their set consisted mainly from their first 2 albums Steel N Chains and Spartan Warrior which caused much headbanging in the front rows. It was all over too soon as they ended their set with 2 numbers from their debut album, ‘Stormer’ and ‘Cold Hearted’. Now was the time for it to get much heavier as Tony Dolan strode onstage with Rickenbacker bass in hand to front Atomkraft, the band he formed in 1979 but split in 1988. Their mission today was to play their  ground breaking 1985 album Future Warriors and one of the tracks entitled ‘Total Metal’ perfectly described  Atomkraft’s delivery at Brofest 2. Tony had the loudest bass sound of the weekend highlighted by the final number, the slow burning thud of ‘Heat And Pain’ featuring Jeff ‘Mantas’ Dunn as special guest. When the ex Venom guitarist walked on, the venue went into overdrive.


Another vintage NWOBHM band was to follow. Blitzkrieg are another local hero band . They have gained press since Metallica covered their theme song but Blitzkrieg are still recording and their latest album Back From Hell has shown there is still fire in their veins. That point is proven by original vocalist Brian Ross who had flown in on Sunday after playing a gig in Germany  the night before and his son Alan plays guitar in the band alongside Ken Johnson who joined in 2002. Highlights were many but standout tracks were ‘Dark City’, a mid paced chugger with multi time changes and banshee screams from Brian. ‘Sahara’ from Back From Hell is a heavy slow burner which built and built in the vein of ‘Stargazer’ but of course the room went crazy for their self named song, the aforementioned ‘Blitzkrieg’. Canadian trio Cauldron were up next playing 1 of only 2 UK dates as part of their European tour. Formed only in 2006, Cauldron are one of the newer bands  flying the flag for the New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) and their delivery reminded me a lot of Raven. To end a hectic set they were joined by Jeff ‘Mantas’ Dunn for a blistering cover of Die Hard by Venom.


As Sunday drew to a close, penultimate  and influential NWOBHM band Jaguar proved their high place on the bill with a raging new song called ‘Once And All’. ‘Connection’ fired up mass crowd headbanging but strangely enough they did not play one of their most well known numbers ‘Axe Crazy. So Brofest 2 was left with just one band to close the weekend with and the band that was my main reason for coming here. Its almost 32 years since I last saw Vardis and their set this Sunday was their 1st live gig in 27 years and I never thought I would see them again. So come showtime Gary Pearson on drums, Terry Horbury on bass guitar and lead guitarist Steve Zodiac came on following an emotional introduction by Gary’s daughter Stacey. Of course Steve does not have waist length white hair and play barefoot anymore but as he stepped up to his mikestand, shouted out “Lets Go” and hit the opening chord of that song, nothing had changed. Out of the 12 song set, 7 of those were from their debut live album 100mph and ‘Out Of The Way’, ‘Destiny’, Dirty Money’, ‘Situation Negative’, ‘The Loser’ and ‘If I Were King’ still stand the test of time. Numbers from The Worlds Insane’ ‘Quo Vardis’ and ”Vigilante” were aired also. Pick of the bunch were a bluesy ‘The Worlds Insane’ which featured a 2 minute guitar solo which showed that Steve has lost none of his speed. ‘Don’t Mess With The Best’ and ‘Learn How To Shoot Straight’ from Vigilante showed just how underrated that album was underrated back in 1986.All of the band were constantly smiling at each other and their hour set limit seemed to fly by in minutes but hopefully further UK dates will come along following the planned release of a remastered Vigilante and an album of new material.


So Brofest 2 came to a close, one of the best festivals I have attended for a long time and I will definitely be at Brofest 3 in 2015!


Special thanks go to photographers Helga Dee, Claire Frost, Lena Adamopoulou, ‘No Sleep’ Mark G and Anthony Whitehead for the use of their shots.


I award Brofest 2 an easy 10/10.


PlanetMosh DOW Review

Posted on December 9, 2013 by Ian Dick

Back in the day when the NWOBHM movement kicked off there was no internet easily available so I had to rely on music magazines like Sounds, Kerrang, Melody Maker, NME, Record Mirror etc. for information. So all i really knew about Soldier was their 45rpm single release Sheralee which caused a bit of a stir at the time but they never got to release an album before they split up in the early 80′s. Founder member and lead guitarist Ian Dick who formed Soldier in 1979 reformed the band with the original line up in 2002 and to use a pun, soldiered on to release an EP called Infantrycide in 2002,  finally releasing their long awaited debut full length album Sins Of The Warrior in 2005.


Following more personnel changes only Ian remains in the band from the original line up and in July 2013 Soldier’s 2nd studio album Dogs Of War was released on Starhaven Records, recorded in Rockingham Studios. There are 14 songs on Dogs Of War and with a running time of 60mins my initial thoughts were it maybe a bit too long but after one play i was proven wrong as every song has the feel of the glory days of NWOBHM but with a modern sheen. Dogs Of War literally kicks off with the title track and is a very strong opener to say the least with a killer chorus. It runs along with a tempo similar to Princess Of The Night by Saxon. It’s an anthem in the making and showcases the soaring, melodic voice of new singer Richard Frost.


I Can’t Breathe is next with a brash twin guitar intro that gives way to heavy riffage backed up by neat, melodic guitar lines with yet another big chorus. Dogs Of War is prime UK heavy metal but with a big slice of melody which is evident in Fireflies, a nice slice of heavy AOR. Other highlights are Lock N Load, another rifftastic number with a Thin Lizzy twin guitar break midway. My personal highlight of Dogs Of War follows, the epic, brooding heavy balladry of Bedlam. At just over 6mins long it rumbles towards a Children Of The Grave like midsection as the song ends in a lengthy twin guitar battle. Forever and No Mans Land are 2 numbers bolstered by Iron Maiden guitar lines, especially Forever with its Heaven Can Wait rhythms.


Dogs Of War finishes with 3 very different numbers. Track 12 is a re-working of Sheralee, a prime example of modern day recording as it sounds huge compared to the original with some intense guitar solos. Crash Course is a heavy chugging instrumental and album closer The Hanging Tree is very laid back, with a vibe like That’s The Way by Led Zeppelin,full of chiming acoustic guitar work. A fine way to close a very impressive album and I’m looking forward to hearing some of these songs live when Soldier play at Brofest #2 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne between Feb.28th-March 2nd 2014!


Dennis Jarman/PlanetMosh UK Dec 2013




Metalcrypt DOW review

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Ian Dick

There seems to be a lot of rumblings going on in the old school NWOBHM scene in England at the minute, particularly in my town with an almost exclusively NWOBHM festival going into its second year come February. A lot of the old bands who didn’t quite cut it back in the day are coming out of the woodworks, some mainly for playing gigs and honoring their past, and others to record new material. Northampton’s Soldier are one such band falling into the latter category, with driving force and guitarist Ian Dick bringing forth the band’s second full-length since 2005.


With an almost complete new line-up save for drummer Alex Smith, Ian has enlisted a band of strong musicians for Soldier’s sophomore effort Dogs Of War. Most impressive would have to be singer Richard Frost whose voice is ace. His style is certainly a little more classic rock than heavy metal, but it really gives the material a smooth, mature feel that works well as counterpoint to the surprisingly energetic music on offer here. This kind of stuff isn’t one of my main forays, and as such I don’t have much basis for comparison. The last release I heard similar to this would have been Savage’s Sons of Malice, and I can definitely say that Soldier’s Dogs Of War comes off a little more energetic and convincing.


The music for the most part reminds me of Iron Maiden with shades of Judas Priest, Blitzkrieg and maybe even Angel Witch. This is particularly evident in the guitar and bass approach, which is pure unadulterated traditional metal/NWOBHM. The title track and the quality “Lock ‘n’ Load” are jam packed with cracking riffs, which are sure to get the blood pumping and the fists raised. Whilst it’s fairly typical of the genre, you can’t help but enjoy it.


If there’s any issue I have with Dogs Of War, it’s that the album is a little too long. I felt much the same way about the aforementioned Savage release, and I feel this type of sound works better in a leaner package. The version I have also features a couple of bonus tracks, which are certainly in touch with the material on the album, although I don’t feel they’re necessary. That aside, there isn’t a lot wrong with Dogs Of War. An undoubtedly solid, enjoyable album and one which fans of the genre should certainly look out for. I can imagine a lot of the material here would transfer well to the live environment, as Soldier serve up a very natural and energetic sound. Quality riffs and some ace vocals make this one to look out for.



DOW Review from MetalShock / Finland

Posted on November 1, 2013 by Ian Dick

SOLDIER are a British band formed in 1979, featuring Garry Phillips (vocals), Ian Dick (guitar),Steve Barlow (bass guitar) and Ian Astrop (drums). Since then there have been a lot of line up changes, then after about twenty years they formed again in 2002-2003. The original line up of Garry Phillips, Ian Dick, Steve Barlow and Ian Astrop then recorded the ‘Infantrycide’ E.P. which came out in 2002.


“We wanted to put something out quite quickly and when we listened back to the old stuff I loved the riff in ‘Infantrycide’. The ‘Live Forces’ recording is very poor audio quality and I thought it would be great to record it properly. Also I always thought the original recording of ‘Silver Screen Teaser’ sounded more like a blues song, and had always wanted to record it beefed up. So with those two, and two new songs, we had an E.P.”


In 2013 the new release from SOLDIER is ‘Dogs Of War’. This is very much a contemporary metal album, although as Ian notes: “We have still managed to retain the NWOBHM sound in the songs, and in the production of the album too. In my opinion it is a very strong album – there are no tracks we just threw in to fill the running time: they are all really good songs. Speaking for me, this album represents what I have been trying to achieve as a songwriter and musician for many years, and I truly believe this is the strongest material SOLDIER have produced to date.”


The first song on the album is ‘Dogs of War’ and the first thing that hits you is a cracking intro’ riff, full of power and instantly getting my feet tapping. The vocals are clean and the lyrics are catchy in the chorus, and with the twin guitars and a superb solo, overall a great start to the album. The next three songs are ‘I Can’t Breathe’, Fireflies’ and ‘The Eye’ and all these songs have great twin guitar riffs, very good strong lyrics and stunning solo’s, typical of the NWOBHM genre.


The fifth song on the album is ‘Lock ‘N’ Load’ , that starts with a strong intro’ riff with pounding drums, and then the vocals come soaring in with purpose. The song has lyrics that you can easily relate to, and sing along with; the twin guitar solos are just awesome. The next three songs are ‘Bedlam’, ‘Demon In The Room’ and ‘I Am’ and all of these songs have got some amazing vocals and lyrics. The guitar work is sensational and the drums keep the beat perfectly. These are all top quality songs.


The ninth song on the album is ‘Forever’ and starts with a classic riff which gets my head nodding instantly, the song itself is great, the guitars on it are out of this world with some superb solos, and the riff carries on through the song. The vocals are top quality, just what you would expect from a band of this quality. The next three songs are ‘Take Me Home’, No Mans Land’ and a new take on the old song, ‘Sheralee’. These songs are superb in every way, the guitar work right through to the vocals, and the drums pounding out the rhythm; they are classic NWOBHM songs.


The thirteenth song is ‘Crash Course’ and is an instrumental which starts off with a classic style riff, this goes through the whole song, but then the second the guitar comes in with a great solo which blends into the song perfectly. The final song on the album is ‘The Hanging Tree’ which is an acoustic song. This shows just how versatile the band is, I could listen to this song all day, it is so soothing and mellow, a perfect ending to a great album.



Overall, this album is as great, coming from the NWOBHM genre. “Dogs Of War” has some great classic twin guitar riffs and solos and the vocals are just out of this world. I would easily put this album right at the top; in my opinion if you like the old NWOBHM then you will love this. SOLDIER have outdone themselves with this classic album.


Album Rating 10/10



Sea Of Tranquility/New York review Dogs Of War

Posted on October 20, 2013 by Ian Dick

Seems like so many of the old new wave of british heavy metal (NWOBHM) acts who disappeared into thin air back in the 1980’s 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. Actualy , founding guitarist Ian Dick resurrected Soldier a decade ago , releasing the Infantrycide EP in 2003 , the single Murderous Night in 2004 , and a full length album in 2005 titled Sins Of The Warrior. Here they are 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 the 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 rythms 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-80’s 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.


Peter Pardo


Sea Of Tranquility , New York , USA




Stormbringer/Austria Dogs Of War Review

Either you are as old as the hills or a rather retro-minded friend of original metallic music. One of the two conditions might prove helpful if you try to find your way through the jungle of what was and still is called the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. There´s always the obviously familiar IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST. A wee bit below that glass ceiling there´s bands like ANGEL WITCH among others and then there are about a gazillion of bands that wanted to but never really managed to get off the ground. Sure, there is a hell of a lot of dispensable material but every once in a while there is something really stellar.


Just like the boys from SOLDIER. These fine people celebrated their 30th anniversary last year and they manage to still sound, with the help of three new members, the way metal sounded so often in England in the early 80. Maybe with a bit of a modern edge, transported into the present. Does not mean much to begin with, it takes more than a couple of nice melodies to make a summer, or rather a strong album.

But SOLDIER manage to do exactly that, meaning they released a really strong Heavy Metal Record.  A record without too many flourishes, without overblown orchestra-intros and chanteuses with brutal falsettos (or worse, their male counterparts). Riffs, Melodies, Chorus and off we go.


Modern is what I said a couple of lines ago. Do not fear, this is not a record that has been bent into übermodern shape with brutal compression but an album with a warm, heavy sound. Even though the album is quite long with its 60 minutes playing time it still sounds pristine and, yeah again: heavy! There is plenty of space for an organic guitar sound and very groovy drums.


Ok, I have to admit  that the guitars are „heavy“ when compared to the original NWobHM (or „noowobm“ as pronounced by Sam Dunn) but the sound is way more in your face then in the 80s. The sound was back then very natural but that was because of the limited technical possibilities. Most of the really early Heavy Metal Albums just sound tame nowadays. Even the mighty IRON MAIDEN had to realease a couple of albums until they really became a heavy band.


The drums, as already mentioned, are kind of straight, but very groovy and manage to give the songs the necessary drive. You do not need to play 280 bpm and use a ton of triggers on the drums. You just need to open the hi-hat and play as fluid as possible, just the way Alex Smith does. Great to hear drums that are so, well, “right” for the songs. A very committed but never hectic bass completes the rhythm section. There is no showing off, there is just the drive needed for that kind of music.


In terms of the guitars, there are just tons of riffs embedded in straight to the point kind of songs. Not just one riff after the other but real songs were made from the ingredients. It does not work always, a song like “The Eye” for example is a a bit inconsistent, but the rest of the time the songs cut right to the chase, they dig themselves into your ears and refuse to become boring. And that, dear reader is the ultimate art of songwriting.

Which the gentlemen are very capable of.


And have been for a long time. Way back in 1982 they released a Single with the song “Sheralee”. This song was rerecorded for this album and fits right in with the new stuff. Old stuff and the newly crafted songs just form a fitting unity.


The vocals are pretty adequate as well. Richard Frost has a pleasantly rough, medium-rise voice that every once in a while reminds me of a young Bruce Dickinson back in his SAMSON-days. Without the overboarding Dickinson-vibrato obviously. And it is definitely not a copy of the MAIDEN-frontman, it just has the same feel from time to time.


The album is really fun and just refuses to be fun even after three weeks of acoustic irradiation. Quite a kick in the balls in the trendy-as-fuck metal landscape of today.


Seriously original metal with its feet firmly planted into todays music scene.


You do not think that this works?


Oh yes, it sure das.




Dangerdog review of Dogs Of War

Soldier: Dogs of War

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

4.0/5.0

Despite their stormy early history riding the New Wave of British Heavy Metal wave, England’s Soldier are often considered legends in their field. Founded by guitarist Ian Alan Dick in 1979, the band did a boatload of gigs and released a popular single, Sheralee, but never got a record contract in their three year existence. Fast forward to 2005 as Dick reforms the band with a new lineup and cut Sins of the War.


Soldier: NWOBHM veterans.


Now with a few more changes in the band, Soldier returns with Dogs of War, another collection of tunes steeped in NWOBHM tradition. It’s probably not fair to call this album strictly a metal album as it straddles the fence between melodic metal and hard rock. Songs like the title track, I Am, Demon In The Room, and the longer Bedlam sound much like the former; Fireflies, Lock ‘n’ Load, and Forever, more to the latter.


Alternatively, Soldier probably blurs the line between the two genres rather than straddling the fence as nearly every song has a toe-tapping groove. The aforementioned Forever and I Am as well as I Can’t Breathe, Sheralee, or Crash Course are rock invigorated melodic metal songs. This characteristic is one of features that was prominent in early NWOBHM and made it such a great sound: it was melodic, heavy, and rocked.


Some mention should be of vocalist Richard Frost. He has solid traditional melodic vocal style with a decent range, and it appears from the video below he likes to sing with eyes closed. A rare talent indeed, except if he starts wandering around the stage and begins bumping into his mates. Also, Dick is still in fine form. He’s no Vai or MacAlpine, but he can deliver true metal licks anytime. Great lines within Sheralee, Bedlam, Forever, and No Man’s Land, to name a few highlights.


Bottom line: Dogs of War is a fine platter of melodic metal rock and a return to form for this legendary band. Recommended.



Dogs Of War review Calles Rock Corner/DENMARK

Posted on September 20, 2013 by Ian Dick

Soldier is a British band, originally formed back in 1979, but since then there have been some changes and a longer break of almost 20 years. Dogs Of War is the band’s third album (as far as I could see) and the crew on the album consists of Ian Alan Dick (guitar), Steve Barlow (bass), Richard Frost (vocals), Miles Goodman (guitar) and Alex Smith (drums). It’s only the first two that are the original members and they were also both with the band when they reunited for the first time in 2002-2005. Now here we are in 2013 and the band is back together and have released Dogs Of War – their take on NWOBHM anno 2013.

There are no ballads, with the possible exception of the album’s last song “The Hanging Tree”, which is a great acoustic number. On the other hand, there is a LOT of twin-guitars in the best Iron Maiden style. My favorite songs on Dogs Of War are undoubtedly “Bedlam”, “Fireflies”, “Demon In The Room”, “Lock ‘n’ Load” and the remake of the band’s first single “Sheralee”. The latter was originally written back in 1982, but re-recorded in 2012 and serves as a bonus track on Dogs Of War . Although the album has 14 songs, I do not think there are any fillers and you will be well entertained in the  60 minutes the album runs to

Dogs Of War is superbly produced and the songs are well put together. The musicians are talented and Frost has a clear and pure voice that is well suited to this genre. In addition, I think especially the good twin-guitar cooperation works really well and sonically located instruments and vocals work well in relation to each other.

This album was my first acquaintance with the band and I can only say that I am delighted that Ian contacted me for review and then sent me the album. It has rotated a part of the plant since it landed in my mailbox and will certainly get more spin with time. As they write in the press release: Soldier is back and ready for action!!!

There is nothing innovative in Soldier’s music, but if you like good heavy music, then you should definitely check out the band.  Dogs Of War is now out on Star Haven Records.

(4 ½  out of 6)




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