Review By Woody
I’m not sure if Soldier knows that 1982 has come and gone! Their sound and style is right out of the dawn of the NWOBHM movement and their new album ‘Defiant’ sounds like it’s just got sucked through a time vortex and spat out into 2015! The bands heavily traditional sound is no surprise given that their history dates right back to 1979 and following a resurgence of interest and popularity in recent times have been wining new fans with their latest albums.
‘Defiant’ is wall to wall old school NWOBHM which is highly melodic and rubs shoulders with the likes of Iron Maiden, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Praying Mantis. If I’m honest the album feels a little dated to me and it does affect my opinion of the album slightly, it’s a good album, not groundbreaking but enjoyable. Had this been a re-issue I would have been less critical and would reflect on the album with warm nostalgia and that sense of retro would have irked me less.
Now don’t get me wrong there is some quality stuff here and I’m certain NWOBHM traditionalists will be flipping the bird at this very page right now in total disagreement! Traditional sounding NWOBHM is still insanely popular especially on the continent and the leather and denim crew are recruiting new members regularly and that audience will love this album, that’s for sure.
I think the thing that appeals to me the most is the fact the album is highly melodic in every aspect and I’m particularly fond of the vocals which cast an extra layer of melody over every song. Vocalist Richard Frost has a really smooth vocal unlike some of the screamers and shouters you sometimes associate with some of the heavier bands of this genre.
To me Soldier sway more towards the softer melodic side of the genre, that doesn’t distract from the energy and pumping rhythms but that extra melody, does seem to soften the overall impact. Personally given my own tastes this is an awesome thing but it’s not too soft for metal fans to sink their teeth into a good old air guitar and hair windmill frenzy!
The closing track ‘Don’t Come Crying to Me (Defiant) is in particular a highlight, I really like its swagger and the way the song builds to an anthemic fist punching chrous which I’m sure genre fans will enjoy alongside those epic melodic guitar riffs ala Iron Maiden displayed throughout the album!
‘Defiant’ is full of epic guitar riffs and galloping rhythms which should have NWOBHM fans setting the dandruff free and fist pumping along to every chorus. Highly recommended for NWOBHM traditionalists!
Track Listing: Conquistador / Leaving / Kill or Cure / Concrete Wilderness / Fight or Fall / Dead Man’s Curve / Bullet Belt Blues / Six Hundred / A Light To See The Darkness / Don’t Come Crying To Me (Defiant)
Album Rating: 7/10
Woody’s Essential Track: Kill or Cure
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