4 out of 5 Stars!
Part of the U.K.’s “New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Movement,” the wild and raucous Tank enjoyed some marginal success until disappearing in the late ’80s after its fifth studio release. Thankfully, however, the band reappeared in the new century with several lineup changes, the most important one (for me, anyway) being the addition of the superb vocalist Doogie White (Rainbow/Cornerstone/La Paz/etc.), who appeared on the previous War Machine album in 2010 as well as this collection.
With this particular change in lineup and the band’s rather straightforward and driving Metal style—different than the group’s more Motorhead-like approach from the early days of its existence—Tank had noticeably altered its sound. Here, on spirited and barreling tracks such as “Don’t Dream in the Dark,” “Song of the Dead,” “Justice For All,” “State of the Union,” “Hammer and Nails,” “Wings of Heaven,” and the more laid-back “Dreamer,” the group came across almost like a blending of Rainbow and Accept—two of my favorite acts of all time. And while White’s vocal melodies shine through on both the verses and memorable choruses, the band still sounded heavy as all freaking hell, thanks to the thundering rhythm section of bassist Chris Dale and drummer Steve Hopgood, and the blazing riff-laden guitars of Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans.
Therefore, with the band delivering a collection of tracks in the style of more traditional Heavy Metal outfits such as Saxon, Hammerfall, Dio, and Judas Priest, War Nation is one of my favorite Tank albums. And to those who want to savor the sheer sonic power in all its glory, my advice is to PLAY IT LOUD!