Released By : Metal Mind Productions
Genre : Traditional Heavy Metal, NWOBHM
Link : http://www.tankofficial.com
Doogie White – Vocals
Mick Tucker – Guitars
Cliff Evans – Guitars
Chris Dale – Bass
Steve Hopgood – Bass
01. War Nation
02. Song Of The Dead
03. Hammer And Nails
04. Don’t Dream In The Dark
05. Grace Of God
07. Justice For All
08. Wings Of Heaven
09. State Of The Union
10. Hard Road
Well here we are yet again reviewing an album that features journeyman vocalist Doogie White at the helm. I’ve already spoken about him in length in other recent reviews and gone through his many projects and bands, so we might skip that part this time around. Suffice to say, if you aren’t familiar with White, just google his name and prepare to me dumbstruck by the sheer volume of music he is involved with at any given time.
When cult NWOBHM band TANK recruited Doogie White back in 2008 there was plenty of interest as to how this would work out for the band and what it would do to their sound. The first release to feature White, 2010’s WAR MACHINE was actually a very familiar TANK sound music-wise and while it was a decent enough album the raw, slightly Punk-ish musical style didn’t really suit his melodic voice and it seemed a little like a doomed project. This time around though with the new release WAR NATION, Doogie has had much more input from a stylistical point of view and the band have created something here that still pays plenty of tribute to their sound of old, but also steers a little closer to a traditional melodic metal sound, something that much better suits White’s vocal style.
The NWOBHM vibe is still strong on WAR NATION, and you can easily feel the vibe of bands like SAXON, IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST, but the more traditional influences like DIO, Tony Martin era BLACK SABBATH, ACCEPT and even a bit of EUROPE for good measure. In the best way possible, WAR NATION is an album that is based on two strong elements working together, one of course is the always masterful vocals of Doogie White, the other is the purely classic guitar riffing, yes this is a true guitar album in every way possible. This combination makes for an album that has plenty of balls, but is also ridiculously catchy and features at least five or six songs that will instantly get stuck in your head the minute you listen to them.
Title track WAR NATION is actually one of the strongest openers of the year, and if the chugga riffing and monstrous chorus vocals don’t get you pumped up then you may well already be dead. The album stays at this high point for the next few tracks too with SONG OF THE DEAD, HAMMER AND NAILS and DON’T DREAM IN THE DARK all displaying pure class for their entire running time. The album takes a slight dip in the middle with GRACE OF GOD and ballad track DREAMER both not in the same league as what comes before them. Okay so DREAMER is nowhere near as bad as the Ozzy Osbourne track of the same name, but it’s not really that good either. JUSTICE FOR ALL, WINGS OF HEAVEN and STATE OF THE UNION bring the album back up to speed in great fashion though and all three of these tracks kick some serious metal ass. The album closes with HARD ROAD, an instrumental piece that is pretty decent but largely irrelevant in a release that includes a vocalist with the power to draw you in like Doogie White.
Fans of any type of classic metal, whether it be Melodic, NWOBHM or Traditional should give this record a go, Doogie White has added another layer to his game here and TANK are all the better for it. There’s no reinventing the wheel, nothing modern or progressive either, but WAR NATION is a fantastic and ridiculously enjoyable metal album and easily one of my favourite releases of 2012.
Written By ZeeZee