1986, EMC Records
- Rock Warriors
- Bad Time Coming
- Still Standing Strong
- Live to Rock
- Northern Wind
- Stand and Deliver
- White Hot Desire
David Donato – Lead Vocals
Mark St. John – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Michael Norton – Bass, Backing Vocals
Brian James Fox – Drums, Backing Vocals
Producer: Mark St. John
After a short drama-filled stint with KISS in 1984 that resulted in the release of Animalize and a handful of live performances before being replaced by Bruce Kulick, Mark St. John set out to form his own band. By January of 1985, St. John had partnered up with singer David Donato and started working on demos. Much like St. John, Donato also spent a small portion of 1984 as a member of a legendary rock band before shown the door. That band was Black Sabbath. White Tiger was rounded out by drummer Brian James Fox and Mark’s brother, Michael Norton on bass.
The music of White Tiger is not too dissimilar from that of what would be heard on the ’89/’90 demos from The Keep. Not surprising since that group that was essentially White Tiger with original KISS member Peter Criss on drums.
One thing I notice is that Mark St. John’s playing seems a bit more restrained (well, as restrained as you can expect and ’80s metal guitarist to be) than it was on Animalize. I don’t mind his playing at all on that KISS album, I consider it to be one of the album’s trademarks, but I would have expected him to be even more showy now that he has his own band, but he doesn’t go down that road. Maybe he learned his lesson from hearing Vinnie Vincent go off the rails when he formed the Vinnie Vincent Invasion after his tenure in KISS.
Donato’s vocals are prototypical ’80s metal singer, but I mean that in a good way because I love that style of singing and he’s obviously talented. Slightly nasal in a Vince Neil fashion (though a much better singer), I also hear similarities to Robert Plant, but it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to ripoff Robert Plant as other singers loved to do during this era.
The music itself is enjoyable ’80s melodic metal. Nothing spectacular, but nothing is terrible either. It’s good background music when you’re in the mood for this type of music. The same year this album was released, EMC Records dropped them after deeming there were no hit singles on this album. The band trudged on and got as far as recording demos in 1988 for a second album, but they decided to call it quits shortly afterwards.
For Black Sabbath and KISS fans, White Tiger is a fun listen to get an idea of what any future contributions from Donato and St. John might’ve sounded like had they stayed in their previous bands.
Highlights: “Love/Hate”, “Still Standing Strong”, “Live to Rock”