On paper at least things didn’t bode well for Tank’s return from an eight-year layoff.
With gravel-voiced bassist Algy Ward seemingly retired, the UK band’s current line-up includes no original members. The introductions of former Rainbow/Yngwie mouthpiece Doogie White, with ex-Atom Seed/Bruce Dickinson bassist Chris Dale taking up the slack, both appeared ill-fitting appointments. Certainly, the notion of White roaring the band’s infamous battle cry of “Wakey wakey!” seems almost laughable.
And yet, War Machine is a powerful, convincing, classic-sounding heavy metal record. Stripped of the punkoid hooligan rawness that was such a foundation of Tank’s earliest releases, White’s heroic and deeply melodic vocals are the epicentre of the album’s appeal, sounding their most Dio-esque on Feast Of The Devil.
The weighty yet super-precise guitar lines of Cliff Evans and Mick Tucker, members of Tank since the mid-80s, represent another reason to investigate this surprisingly fine comeback disc.