|Review: Soldier - Dogs of War|
|Dogs of War|
Year released: 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: October 25, 2013
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Dogs of War
Rated 4/5 (80%) (2 Votes)
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.
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