WARRIOR SOUL Reissues Escapi Music (2006)
The man behind Warrior Soul, Kory Clarke, has been an extreme artist of various kinds and the band were an outlet for his various influences, musical or otherwise.
1990's debut Last Decade Dead Century (Escapi Music EMUS20050) was a full throttle metal affair, mixing trad metal with punk, and touches of thrash and nu metal. There's some interesting riffs, lyrics and melodies.
The intro to 'Losers' is based on a marching band style drum rhythm; just because many tracks wrap the guitars round your throat, it's not all like that. It's not all musically intricate but it's different and artistic, and an interesting listen. ***½
The following year's Drugs, God And The New Republic (Escapi Music EMUS20051) with its Motorhead and Metallica influences is real metal for the next generation. There's element of The Cult in there too. 'Rocket 88' is a real octane fuelled number. The album is more coherent than the debut, more direction. ****
In keeping with every album having a slightly different direction, 1992's Salutations From The Ghetto Nation (Escapi Music EMUS20052) was far less trad metal influenced. More rhythmic, touches of nu metal, and it's still as heavy as lead.
Vocals a touch more thrashy, and the slower 'Shine Like It' has a more tribal drum beat. That said, 'Punk Belligerent' describes itself well. Imagine if the Sex Pistols had enough bollocks to mind! ***
1993 and Chill Pill (Escapi Music EMUS20053) sounded a lot more technical in it's writing, sound, production, everything, while remaining as heavy as ever. A bit more of the punk attitude too. Some excellent moments but it's far from their strongest set, if anything a little experimental in places. **½
The good tracks are as good as anything WS recorded but the album as a whole has a questionable direction. I know art is about breaking frontiers, but if you attempt to crack too many you fail to really crack any at all.
The band's last outing, The Space Age Playboys (Escapi Music EMUS20054) in 1995, was a little more consistent, but sadly the band imploded shortly after. Nihilistic punk metal for the 90s with production to match, it summed up Warrior Soul well but didn't quite have the rawness of their first two albums.
As charged, artistic, political as ever, 'Rocket Engines' and 'The Drug' are excellent tracks. Different from their debut but very enjoyable. ***½
All albums come remastered with bonus live tracks. Top stuff all round.
Review by Joe Geesin