I had long awaited the new Tank album. Even their website had been claiming for months that there would be a new album entitled "Stormtrooper" coming out "soon". So, to find out that another album had been published in the meantime was a bit of a surprise for me. I knew Algy had health problems which had led him to lay off a bit - & the guys to find a replacement for their previous leader. Which they did with Doogie White. When such is the case, bands usually settle for a singer with somewhat the same - or a similar - voice to that of the previous singer. That's what Diamond Head or Foreigner have done before - & quite brilliantly in the case of Diamond Head, if I may say so. But let's get back to this "War machine"...
As soon as I knew about the new album, I ordered it without thinking twice. Tank have been one of my favourite metal bands since their very first "Filth hounds of Hades" came out, back in 1983. I still have some of their early 45rpm's dating from those before-CD days. Great stuff !
So what about the new line-up & album ? Well, the title I gave my review says it all : globally disappointing. The music you will hear on this Cd has little to do with what Tank used to be until the "Still at war" CD - with Algy Ward still on vocals...
So, what do we have here ? Well, it's very sad, but Tank now sound like some very bad Saxon (you know, the "Rock the nations"/"Destiny" period, definitely NOT the "Strong arm of the law"/'Wheels of steel" period, oh no...) Doogie White sounds like Biff Byford, only worse. And musically, inspiration seems to have left the band. Only one track stands out in my opinion, & that's "Great expectations". And even that one is not THAT great. Good Saxon, at most !
As for the rest, well, I'm sorry to say there's never that feel I had whenever I listened to Tank before. So, if your favourite Tank tracks are "Honour & Blood", "The war drags ever on", "This means war", "Filth hounds of Hades", "Light the fire (Watch 'em burn)" or "Return of the filth hounds", well, take those CDs off your shelves & give them another good listen because, unfortunately, this new "War machine" won't give you the satisfaction & thrills those older tracks did - & still do.
I wish I'd never had to write anything like this about Tank, but there you have it : truth needs to be told. I just hope the band will eventually release that mysterious "Stormtrooper" album, with Algy Ward on vocals, so that fans can have new good songs to chew on.
Or you can do a good deed & buy this album, so that the band keeps on making music, paying the rent & stuff. Think of Anvil, for God's sake !!