Holy Soldier – Holy Soldier [Brazil Import] (2007, Silent Music Records)
Original Release: 1990, Myrrh Records
1. “Stranger” … 3:27
2. “See No Evil” … 5:29
3. “The Pain Inside of Me” … 6:32
4. “Cry Out for Love” … 3:30
5. “Tear Down the Walls” … 3:59
6. “When the Reign Comes Down” … 5:19
7. “Lies” … 4:59
8. “Eyes of Innocence” … 3:57
9. “Love Me” … 4:13
10. “We Are Young, We Are Strong” … 5:10
11. “Virtue And Vice” (live) … 4:32
12. “When The Reign Comes Down” (live) … 5:22
Steven Patrick – Lead Vocals
Andy Robbins – Bass, Backing Vocals
Michael Cutting – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jamie Cramer – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Terry Russell – Drums, Backing Vocals
Producer: David Zaffiro
I had heard of this Christian hard rock band and this album for the first time back in 2006 and loved what I heard. Patrick’s vulnerable vocals (similar to White Lion’s Mike Tramp) and songs like “See No Evil”, “The Pain Inside Of Me”, “When The Reign Comes Down”, “Eyes Of Innocence”, “Love Me” and “We Are Young, We Are Strong” had me fixated on this band for a while. Unfortunately, this album has been out of print for quite awhile in the United States (unless you count iTunes as making an album “in print”).
I can’t remember why but for whatever reason I never bothered buying a used copy off eBay even though I remember searching for it. Jump to 2010 and someone off a metal message board I frequent had this album up for auction on eBay. I didn’t win the auction but I was inspired to search for this album once more and came across another seller on eBay who had a number of new copies available under the “buy it now” option. The catch? It’s a Brazilian reissue featuring two bonus tracks (taken from their live album Encore). Well, that works for me!
This CD is marked as one of those “Enhanced CD” editions and according to the eBay listing, there’s also a video clip of “See No Evil” plus wallpapers somewhere on the disc but I can’t get my computer to recognize this disc as anything but an album. Oh well, they aren’t really important to me anyway.
For the life of me I can’t find any info on this particular release other than a passing note on Holy Soldier’s outdated website about their albums being reissued in Brazil. This bit of news seems to be from 2007, so that’s the date I’m going with until someone else says different because even the label that reissued it seems to have gone out of business since then.
I’m no church goer. I got into this album because I just really love the music here. Upon examination of the lyrics most but not all of the songs have references to God an dJesus Christ but I never get the feeling like I’m being preached to as other so many other Christian acts can make me feel. This is just great ’80s glam rock and if there happens to be a pro-Christianity slant to it, then so be it. I’d rather listen to pro-Christianity lyrics than anti-God garbage that Slayer or Venom or Marilyn Manson would spew out.
Holy Soldier from what I’m told had a fairly decent following in the Christian rock realm and were often compared to Stryper just for the fact that they were both Christian hair metal. That’s about where all the similarities end though. Holy Soldier is slightly less preachy than Stryper and aren’t as flashy and polished but they still delivered a great debut. Again, I’m reminded of White Lion due to less in-your-face and over-the-top approach both bands had and because of the thoughtful and sincere lyrics that tackle serious issues (“See No Evil” seems to be about abortion and I’m assuming “Lies” is about having sex?).
As I alluded to earlier, I love Steven Patrick’s vocals. He doesn’t have pipes of steel but he does well with what he has and packs a lot of emotion into these songs. I think he gives a great performance and the album would definitely not be as good as it is without his participation. There’s really no wild solos to speak of. The band is competent but doesn’t aim to compete with the rest of the hair metal genre in terms of showmanship. They really play for the song and it pays off because there’s nary a filler track to be found really.
I suppose if you really don’t like religion, you won’t enjoy this album but I love it and it’s one of my favorites now that it is in my collection.
Highlights: “Strange”, “See No Evil”, “Tear Down The Wall”, “When The Reign Comes Down”, “Eyes Of Innocence”, “Love Me”, “We Are Young, We Are Strong”