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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Warrior Soul

Drugs, God and the New Republic

Review by Greg Olma

The second album by any band is the most anticipated and criticized. If you stick to your tried and true sound, you get blasted for not progressing. If you move on from that sound, you are called a “sell out.” Just look at the fan’s reactions when Metallica released Ride The Lightning. Warrior Soul has been able to walk that fine line with album number two. They have progressed and matured as songwriters but they kept most of their original sound. I also found this album less political than the first one. That doesn’t mean that Kory Clarke has gotten soft. It’s just that he has found new subject matters to spit out lyrics for. The end result is you get better tunes played with that same conviction. Many bands fall prey to the “sophomore slump” but thankfully Warrior Soul did not. I’m also thankful that labels like Escapi Music put these lost gems out again. Unfortunately, Warrior Soul did not make that big of an impact first run through but now we get to listen to what we missed out on.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intro

This sounds like exactly what the title says. It is a little too long and the lyrics get repeated too often but it does have great vibe to it. They probably used it as the opener for the tour, which fits.
Interzone

Flowing straight in from the intro (or should I say “Intro”), this is pure rock and roll with a Motorhead groove. The only part of this short song that I don’t like is that someone is speaking over Kory’s vocals. Otherwise, it is a great tune.
Drugs, God and the New Republic

Things slow down a bit on this cut. There is a sound that starts on this tune that finds it way on others down the line. The vocals sound like they were taken from a late ‘60’s acid rock album; kind of like Blue Cheer. They make it work and somehow on this set of tunes, they fit.
The Answer

An a cappella intro starts off this piece. The music may sound like ‘70’s rock but the vocals have that same ‘60’s vibe like the previous track.
Rocket 88

There is a cool echoey guitar intro on this cut. It is a fast paced ‘70’s sounding rocker. The riffing has Ted Nugent written all over it. It would have fit nicely on Free For All.
Jump for Joy

This track has a great riff that reminds me of Iron Maiden’s “2 Minutes To Midnight.” The more I listen to this song, the more I like it and the more I can picture Iron Maiden doing it.
My Time

Again we get an early Iron Maiden sounding song. It has that aggressive punk vibe that Iron Maiden and Killers had. This is another tune that I could see Di’Anno-era Maiden playing.
Real Thing

If you had told me that this music was an early Kiss song, I would have believed it. The vocals obviously give it away, but the music sounds like Kiss pre-Destroyer. This is one of the better cuts on this CD.
Man Must Live As One

This is another slice of pure rock and roll. The riff reminds me of Kiss’ “Watching You.”
Hero

Warrior Soul try their hand at a little bit of grunge and they do it well. The vocals go back to that ‘60’s sound in parts but overall it’s a great track. I can’t decide if “Jump For Joy” or this one is the best song on the record.
The Wasteland

This could have been off of the first record Last Decade Dead Century. The song is more political and has that same rock sound. If you like the first album, then you will love this tune.
Children of the Winter

The lyrics have a political slant about freedom and sound as relevant today as they did in 1991 when this was originally released. The music is also a throwback to the first record. Throughout the track the tempo changes which keeps it interesting. Overall, this is a great track to end the album with.
Intro (Bonus Live Track)

They must have used this tune to open their shows with because it builds even more than the studio version. They almost double the length of this “intro” which might have worked when you saw it live but falls short when you are listening to it at home. It is also very bootleg sounding with the guitars very far back in the mix.
Interzone (Bonus Live Track)

It’s too bad that these bonus live tracks sound so bad. You can tell that the energy coming off the stage is a lot better than it sounds.
The Answer (Bonus Live Track)

I guess someone found the volume knob for the guitars because you can finally hear them. The band is able to replicate their sound live but I recommend listening the studio version. I can’t believe that the band didn’t record some soundboards for themselves.
 
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