Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Warrior Soul:
"Last Decade, Dead Century"
"Drugs, God & The New Republic"

  While writing my last "Hair Metal Classic" column for the Detroit Rock Blog, it occurred to me that there are many albums that despite their quality, just could never be considered a "classic". There are several reasons for this. Perhaps, they were ahead of their time with a unique sound. Maybe the record label lacked the funds to provide all important MTV exposure. Even today, people simply judge a band on it's image and ignore them. Whatever the reason, There's something exhilarating about finding an album that nobody knows about and building it's reputation...among friends at least. It becomes YOUR album. Well, my friends, I hope to do the same for you. Enjoy the first installment of "Rescued Gems".
  When did the innocence die?
  When did music evolve from good times, infectious grooves and soaring choruses to something that could *gasp* make you think? The moment for me was 1991. That was the summer my friend Jeremy Horning and I discovered progressive rockers Queensryche. We heard the self titled track from their breakthrough album, "Empire" and instantly loved it. There's a music breakdown in the song where singer Geoff Tate relays important facts about the United States such as how much more is spent on space exploration than gun control and law enforcement. This was something completely new to Fifteen year old me. This wasn't about strip clubs, motorcycles, or getting your heart broken. This was music about current events that happened to have killer melody. Songs such as Best I Can, Jet City Woman, and, of course, Silent Lucidity sealed the deal as far as our fandom was concerned.
  Because of this, Myself, Jeremy & new friend Dave Harrison decided to venture out one chilly November evening to see Queensryche perform at the Palace of Auburn Hills on their Building Empires tour. This was a big deal because "Silent Lucidity" had just blown up on MTV and afforded the band their first chance to headline. It also provided a chance for Queensryche to perform their underground classic "Operation: Mindcrime" in it's entirety. To say we were stoked is an understatement. We arrived at the Palace, heads abuzz with excitement.
  But first, the opening band.
  Opening bands are a mixed bag.
Sometimes you catch a group growing in initial popularity and the experience is made all the more exciting for fans. A good example is Guns N Roses opening up for Aerosmith on their 1987 North American tour. Who knew when they purchased tickets that Aerosmith fans were also getting the hottest act on the planet.
It can also be a detriment if the band is a relative unknown, has a different style than the headliner, or worse case, they're simply not that talented. I can recall 1999 when I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers 'Californication' tour at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids with an opening band being so terrible, bassist Flea came out to chastise us for being so mean. So we had no idea what to expect when complete unknowns Warrior Soul took the stage that evening.
  They opened with the intro and title track from then current album "Drugs, God & The New Republic". I remember the interesting sound and being completely intrigued as the lead singer encouraged the crowd to chant with him "We Are The Government! We Are The Government! We Are The Government!" Further songs really spoke to what kind of band this was. "The Losers" brought up thoughts of alienation. Set Closer, "The Wasteland" had a profound impact on me with the line "The  Goddamn President can go to hell". Who were these guys? Why were they so pissed off? What did President Bush ever do to them? Queensryche  followed with one of the most phenomenal concert experiences of my life and still...I just couldn't shake the opening band who I had never heard of but really enjoyed.
  I went out the next day and purchased "Drugs, God & the New Republic" as well as their debut album "Last Decade Dead Century". I just wasn't prepared for what I heard. These albums not only bridged the gateway between Hair Metal and Heavy Metal, they opened the door for me to harder edge bands like Metallica & Megadeth. Warrior Soul really would have been more at home in the late 90's and early 00's where political bands such as Rage Against The Machine flourished. However, I don't want to give the impression that the music isn't well crafted. The songs rock just as hard as anything from 'Master Of Puppets'. The bands philosophy seems to be: Growing up we're led to believe the world is our oyster, that anything is possible. Warrior Soul's music asks the question, "What if it's not?". They're sort of like the Fight Club of the music world.
  If you enjoy hard-edged metal in the style of Metallica & Megadeth, with the lyrics made commonplace by the grunge movement, Warrior Soul is for you. Standout tracks for a mix CD or (sigh) your iPod are:

"I See The Ruins"
"We Cry Out"
"The Losers"
"Trippin' On Ecstasy"
"Drugs, God And The New Republic"
"The Wasteland"
"Punk And Belligerent"
"Ghetto Nation"

-Marc Walentowicz
for DRB 

1 comment:

  1. Warrior Soul will be hitting the studio in January to record their eagerly anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed 'Destroy The War Machine' album and be touring in March 2011 to promote it!/pages/Warrior-Soul/38297871586