Warrior - The Battle Has Started (independent) 2004
1. "Cry As One"
Warrior? Isn't there already a well known heavy metal band called Warrior? Absolutely. It was actually through this controversy over the name that I discovered this band on a discussion board I frequent. I am always interested in new metal, especially new Christian metal. Warrior boldly proclaim that they are a "Christian band". Upon viewing the cover for the first time I wondered to myself, "are these guys serious?" I mean, they look like a cross between Kiss, Manowar and a comic book character. I sort of figured it was one of two things, either these guys have a sense of humor and don't take themselves too seriously or they are just plain cheesy. I think their image is meant as something fun; not something to be taken seriously. However, only the music can tell the real story. While there is a certain amount of humor to this band, they are serious as a heart attack. "Walmart Girl" is a somewhat funny song and the oddball track on the disc. This song sticks out like a sore thumb as it is lyrically and stylistically very different from the rest of the album and doesn't really represent what this band is all about. The funny thing is, this song was chosen as the single for this album. For the most part, Warrior play a style that is a throwback to the early 80's reminding me of band's like Whitecross, Messiah Prophet and even Dokken at times. I would describe their music as happy, catchy, poppy, preachy, heavy metal. "Walmart Girl" would be the one exception to this as this song goes more into the modern pop-punk direction with layered vocals and a catchy, radio-ready chorus. "Cry As One" is one of the strongest and heaviest songs on the disc and sports crunchy guitars and a catchy pop-metal hook. This song could easily have fit on the first couple of Whitecross albums, although Tad Donnley's clean, mid-range vocals are very different from that of Scott Wenzel's raspy voice. Even the couple of ballads remind me of those early Whitecross platters, especially "Please Come Back to Me". Unfortunately, some of the songs on this CD are a bit to high on the cheese scale for my tastes. "The Better High" for example, is written like a military march chant with each line being repeated. "I don't know what I've been told, I don't know what I've been told, getting high has got me cold, getting high has got me cold." This military march style singing runs throughout the song except for the bridge and guitar solo which are lifted straight out of Free's biggest hit, "All Right Now". Lyrically, each song on this album is a plea for people to recieve Christ. I applaud Warrior's strong Christian stance and their desire to populate Heaven. However, the lyrics are all a bit too cliché and come off lacking imagination. The title track for instance repeats this chorus several times, "The battle has started, there's no other way, the battle has started, make Jesus Lord today". Unfortunately the stereotypical lyrics along with the band's image really works against them. I would chalk all this up to inexperience, but according to Tad himself, this band has been around for over a decade in various forms.
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