TANK (feat. Doogie White) – War Nation (2012)
TANK was one of the initiators of the NWOBHM movement releasing a bunch of albums during the eighties, but never got the recognition and fame of their colleagues.
After a long hiatus Tank returned in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2010 the unit become a full force again when they recruited singer Doogie White for a new album. It was a disappointment as the music didn’t really suit Doogie’s melodic voice and it seemed a little like a doomed project.
But now Tank & Doogie are back again with “War Nation”, and I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of this new effort.
This time around 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 closer to a traditional UK melodic hard rock sound, something that much better fits White’s vocal style.
The NWOBHM vibe is still present on this CD, and you can easily feel the vibe of bands like Saxon of Tygers Of Pang Tang, but it is focused in the more traditional influences and sounds of DIO, Black Sabbath’s Tony Martin-era, Rainbow and even a bit of Europe for good measure.
Title track “War Nation” is a strong opener with chuggy riffing and monstrous chorus vocals. The music is tight, heavy and Doogie sings with a power and authority that makes it feel like he’s been fronting the band since day one.
The album stays at this high point for the next few tracks too with “Song Of The Dead” in the best Tony Martin tradition, “Hammer And Nails” reminding you Saxon and “Don’t Dream In The Dark” sounding like mid-eighties DIO.
The album takes a slight dip in the middle with the melodious “Grace Of God” sporting a rhythm and chorus very Europe-like, but with ballsier vocals.
Next, on the ballad “Dreamer” Doogie excels in the vocal department and the band does a great job creating an intense atmosphere. Awesome tune.
“Justice For All”, the Sabbath-esque midtempo “Wings Of Heaven” and “State Of The Union” brings the album back to uptempo territory in great fashion.
The disc 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.
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, and rocks hard.
This combination makes for a recording that is 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.
With “War Nation” Tank isn’t reinventing the wheel, there’s nothing modern or progressive either, but all is so well played, arranged and produced in the true, real, old-fashioned UK Classic Hard Rock style that it’s an authentic pleasure to listen.
01 – War Nation
02 – Song Of The Dead
03 – Hammer And Nails
04 – Don’t Dream In The Dark
05 – Grace Of God
06 – Dreamer
07 – Justice For All
08 – Wings Of Heaven
09 – State Of The Union
10 – Hard Road
Doogie White – Vocals
Mick Tucker – Guitars
Cliff Evans – Guitars
Chris Dale – Bass
Steve Hopgood – Drums
BUY IT !