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Tank - Breath Of The Pit

Tank
Breath Of The Pit
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 June 2013, 1:38 PM

One name, two different versions, both sides retaining the originality behind the title. Algy Ward, founder of the famous NWOBHM act, TANK, dissolved his partnership with two of his veteran peers in the band, Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans, back in 2007. The end result was two new fronts, both active. The one version a full band of five personas, including Tucker and Evans, while the other is one man project, led Ward. I can’t be sure if there is a struggle between the two of who is the most worthy of the name TANK, but looking forward, it is more TANK for NWOBHM fans. Since working on his own since the breakup from the main venture, Ward’s name was barely heard. Six years later, a booming echo split the airwaves with “Breath Of The Pit”, the hound of war has returned from its long wintery slumber. This debut album came about a year after the other version of TANK, fronted by Doogie White, released its sophomore “War Nation”. The result of what could be ascertained as an ego war between three peoples, unleashed an old fury long awaited to be sprung free.

While Tucker and Evans took their TANK a bit forward with their music, while still remaining loyal to domination of the NWOBHM that has been nurturing them, Ward seemed to long for the early past, the rawness and the filth, dust and dirt of previous classics as “Filth Hounds Of Hades”, “This Means War” and “Honour & Blood”. Therefore, “Breath Of The Pit” is a sort of a challenge upon recreating the burning ambitions that led for this great masteries. In terms of overall sound engineering and production, thanks to Ward, Guy Denning and the mastering of Tim Turan, “Breath Of The Pit” had me remembering the once considered freshness of the vintage heaviness, but visceral in comparison to others, of the British sound that commanded the early albums mentioned. On the other hand, heading straight to the material, on this album Ward was on his own and it showed that there things missing. The undying classics of old were made by a foursome crew, including Tucker and Evans being the two guitarists, with Ward being one of the whole unit as vocals and bass. Consequently, “Breath Of The Pit” sounded promising, displaying mainly the basic stuff, merely war themed, heavy as the material written in the past, with Ward presenting fine vocal traits, crude, but practical, bass work and fine riffery that led to several impressive examples of catchy well composed main riffs. However, “Breath Of The Pit” couldn’t seem to race the magnitude of TANK’s earlier albums along with the second version of the band by Tucker and Evans.

Ward’ song writing didn’t seem to shine as I would have liked. The album’s foremost solid catchy traditional Metal tracks with a measure of speed, “T-34”, “Stalingrad (Time Is Blood)”, “Crawl Back into Your Hole” and I might even conjure “Breath Of The Pit” with those, retained several old magical riffs that I so longed for to hear from TANK, but when it comes to arrangements, those faltered with being out of reason epic, other than “T-34” that actually hit the spot and repetitive, endorsing the same suffocated formula time and again. Furthermore, “Breath Of The Pit” displaying agonizing drum work, the bass drum beats should be rechecked, probably the cause of bad programming. In time even the raw natured production became too hard to bear. I can understand wish and need for the old school feel, but several of the channel were an unnecessary dose of treble. “Conflict Primeval” appeared as a different number in contrast to the others, but it lost me after two minutes, being less passionate and dull while the instrumental epilogue of “Circle of Willis” portrayed as out of context and monotonous.

As a whole, I expected a lot more from “Breath Of The Pit”, Ward has always been one of the reasons of the old TANK’s past achievement, but as it would seem from this debut, there are further bridges to cross and more fires to cause.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Breath of the Pit
2. T-34
3. Kill or Be Killed
4. Healing the Wounds of War
5. Stalingrad (Time Is Blood)
6. Victim
7. Crawl Back into Your Hole
8. Retribution
9. Conflict Primeval
10. Circle of Willis
Lineup:
Algy Ward – All Instruments / Vocals
Record Label: Southworld Recordings
     


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