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Tank - War Machine

War Machine
by Grigoris Chronis, Harry Papadopoulos at 19 October 2010, 9:10 PM

To love TANK’s music means you either are fond of the influential bands found guilty for the thrashin’ style of outfits like e.g. SODOM or you simply adore the filthy side of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal almighty era. TANK – led by Algy Ward who’s not in the band as of now (and we will not comment on this, since there’s two sides in every story) – was indeed an influential band back in their heyday and it should be noted that all of their 80s albums boast relevant quality, to say the least. Six albums in the past sum it up to a successful career, I’d confess, and now “War Machine” comes to shake some brains, even if…

…there’s no chance anyone could guess it’s TANK members playing music here if not looking at the cover’s logo at first. “War Machine” is an excellent British Metal/Hard Rock/Classic Rock album and I believe the Press release stating guitarist Cliff Evans’ saying: “we intend to make this a classic British Rock/Metal album that every fan should have in the collection”. This brand new TANK opus is interesting – or should we say excellent? – from beginning to end but has nearly nothing to do with the British band’s early (“Filth Hounds Of Hades”, “Power Of The Hunter”) era; we’d pick up some excerpts of similarity with later 80s TANK releases (“This Means War”, “Honour & Blood”, “Tank”), though. The music here (apart from a couple of cuts) is not fast-paced and consists mainly of mid-tempo or marching/epic numbers with vintage fine guitar themes and some exceptional singing by newcomer Doogie White. Thus, one would not be surprised reading “War Machine”’s tracklist shall mostly bring bands like SAXON post-70s BLACK SABBATH and DIO/RANIBOW to mind.

Needless to say, the lineup – consisting of the infamous White (how the hell does he sound like some evergreen Biff Byford?), the classic Tucker/Evans guitar duo plus Chris Dale (Bruce Dicknison) and Dave “Grav” Cavill (Zodiac Mindwarp) – delivers the goods in easy and its worth noticing the sound is as classic as we all traditional Metal lovers would like it to be. I had seen TANK live more than one year ago in Germany and two songs off this new CD were performed to receive a warm applaud. I’m glad to see the whole album results in a thumbs-up atmosphere now.

If you’re only into earlier TANK works you should definitely check some samples to build your opinion, else lovers of classic British hardrockin’ Metal music now have a Top 10 album to spend good time with during the remaining of 2010.

I was always a big fan of TANK and became even bigger when I had the opportunity to watch them live at 2009's 'Headbangers Open Air' festival. So when I heard that a new album is on its way, I was counting the days for the promo pack to fall into my hands. And finally that moment had arrived. “War Machine”, the new long-waited album from the NWOBHM pioneers TANK with vocalist Doogie White (RAINBOW, PRAYING MANTIS, Yngwie Malmsteen) is ready to hit the stores and the promo is in my hard drive.

So, the one million dollar question is how does TANK sound in 2010. Well, let me start by saying that it won’t disappoint Heavy Metal fans. There are some tracks like the opening one “Judgement Day”, “The Last Laugh” (that brings in mind the old days, a song full of NWOBHM filling) or the last song “My Insanity” (that owes its old school sound mostly to the drumming and the great solo just after the middle of it). Not that the rest of the album has fillers. You can’t say that “Phoenix Rising” is a filler or “Great Expectations”, for Metal God's sake! All the songs are great but they lack something. And this something is the roughness of their previous releases. OK, I didn’t want them to record another “Power Of The Hunter” or “This Means War” album but here the sound is more close to RAINBOW, latest BLACK SABBATH and SAXON. And that’s probably because of the voice of Doogie White which is not as dirty as the one of the previous singer of TANK.

With those lines I don’t want to make the older fans of the band stay away. “War Machine” is a very good album for 2010's TANK and all of us, classic Heavy Metal fans. I strongly believe that those lads that are years in the music industry still have a lot of things to give. And it’s no accident that, despite my objections to the more “polished” music, I’m listening to the album almost every day.

4 Star Rating

  1. Judgement Day
  2. Feast Of The Devil
  3. Phoenix Rising
  4. War Machine
  5. Great Expectations
  6. After All
  7. The Last Laugh
  8. World Without Pity
  9. My Insanity
Doogie White - Vocals
Cliff Evans - Guitar
Mick Tucker - Guitar
Chris Dale - Bass
Dave "Grav" Cavill - Drums
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions


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Edited 30 September 2022

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