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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Tank

War Nation

Review by Larry Toering

With a line-up featuring two fantastic guitarists in the shape of Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans, along with former Rainbow singer Doogie White, and rounded out by a killer rhythm section provided by former Bruce Dickinson bass player Chris Dale and drummer Steve Hopgood, this band has completely reinvented its wheels. This is the second album since they returned with White on vocals, rendering them a completely different outfit with just the same name, to quote White himself. Everything good about their previous release War Machine is repeated here but with a natural progression from it that blends rather than contrasts that debut effort.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
War Nation
Starting with a thud and going straight into an AOR vibe with a strong metal feel, this is an instant Tank classic. One of the featuring aspects of it all is the way White attacks the vocals and Tucker sweeps them off into a blender of a tune between them. It’s an excellent way to start off this sophomore effort together.
Song Of The Dead
This is obviously a little darker, as the title even suggests, but carries things right along in an otherwise similar vein as the opening track. It plays out like another outcome to the same cry against war. It's easy to suspect at this point that White is going to consistently deliver throughout the disc, as usual.
Hammer And Nails
This follows up with an even harder feel, as once again the title suggests it will. The pace increases at it goes and another fine track is the result. This is a tad heavier but still has that AOR element.
Don't Dream In The Dark
So far this is the most interesting track, as each one seems to increase as it goes. More killer lyrics from White are included and the whole band delivers at maximum ferocity.
Grace Of God
More interesting lyrics that ooze of White's best efforts are featured as this track carries on. One of the better choruses on offer here is paired with another equal part guitar attack. Lots of fills and chugging rhythm keep it altogether for another storming effort by all. The drums tend to bode well here, and things wind down with a nice acappella break in the vocals toward the end - superb!
Dreamer
This is a killer straight forward ballad with a very subtle approach. A softer track with all the bells and whistles going for it, this comes complete with mentions of windmills and the like. Once again the strength is displayed by all, but with a feather light vibe to it and a blistering solo from Tucker to top it off.
Justice For All
This track has a very quick and to the point approach to the lyrics that waste no time beating around the bush. It keeps the war theme intact as it flies by with ease and prepares you for the next song without boring for one second. More fine drumming is showcased here, as well. This is a real “seeker of truth” song that delivers as much as anything else on offer here.
Wings Of Heaven
On this track they find their full throttle in every department of the vehicle that is Tank. It’s just a perfect little piece of their pie. I find this to easily rival every song at the very least, with some nice acoustic touches and a blistering guitar solo from Tucker at his best.
State Of The Union
This kicks off with a percussive frenzy and finds White instantly in energetic mode, but once again the label make it difficult to follow because they left it completely out of the liner notes, title and all. As a promo it might be that they're premature in presenting artwork values that meet the final product with a little confusion. If I had to complain that would be the one problem I have with this label.
Hardroad
This is an older track brought back from Tucker, to my knowledge as the single was previewed. It’s a killer (if a bit brief) instrumental that shows the band at their best.

 

 
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