Metal Mind Productions (2012)
Ownership of a name in metal- next to money squabbles, it’s probably the biggest reason you don’t see your favorite acts reunite in their original or preferred incarnations. Truth be told- one probably rolls into the other. If you do enough digging through the internet, you know that Algy Ward isn’t happy that Tank is moving on with a new direction and feel over the past few years. The current lineup features Doogie White, whose vocal pipes have graced albums from Rainbow to Yngwie Malmsteen, Cornerstone to his own solo outings through the years. “War Nation” is the new album with guitarists Cliff Evans and Mick Tucker, bassist Chris Dale and new drummer Steve Hopgood (returning to the fold for the first time in 11 years), the second to feature Doogie on the microphone.
Looking at the album from a purely musical standpoint and less on historical measures, there’s plenty to enjoy about their metal stance. Doogie employs more of his classic Dio nuances on the mid-tempo burning “Song For The Dead” along with “Don’t Dream In The Dark”, but can also fire off some spitfire and spunk on the faster, Saxon-like “Justice For All”. Overall I believe the current Tank lineup resemble what Saxon have been doing for the past decade- writing some really solid, traditional metal while benefitting from the current production abilities to have a little bit more aggressive tone and bite to their sound. Those who live for a doomier song befitting of NWOBHM standards, look no further than “Wings Of Heaven”- a sure fire crowd pleaser with Doogie channeling his best Dio/Tony Martin montage from the Sabbath catalog.
I leave the controversy of the namesake aside and choose to judge “War Nation” and Tank 2012 on its current output. As such, it’s inspiring proof that classic metal principles will live on forever as long as musicians like these put their creativity and passion in the right place. Grab your air guitars, prepare your denim and leather and enjoy another brilliantly executed record here.
Rating: 5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe