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...And that's what I really think. Although many people hail "Filthy Hounds of Hades" as Tank's finest effort, I can't help but disagree in favour of Tank's third and fourth albums.
The band becomes a quartet with the addition of Mick Tucker (ex-White Spirit) and suddenly everything got bigger. The rockin' attitude stays in the back, but Tank here becomes a fucking monstrous machine of intense and epic heavy metal.
After the keyboard intro, everything explodes with "Just Like Something From Hell", an epic monster of more than 8 minutes, and it doesn't stop until the insanely fast "Laughing in the Face of Death" that makes you arrive breathless at the half of the album.
At this stage it's obvious that something has changed in Tank. Mick Tucker's presence is more than obvious as the guitar work has become really impressive, combining terrific riffs as in "This Means War" and excellent soloing that takes Tank's music to an awesome new level.
Things get a bit worse now with "If We Go (We Go Down Fighting)" and "I (Won't Ever Let You Down)", both looking back to the rock 'n' roll vibe of previous albums and without the memorable choruses of the rest of the tracks in the album. Fortunately, the guys manage to write another incredible closer in the form of "Echoes of a Distant Battle" that leaves you thirsty of another Tank experience...
Originally written for Ample Destruction 'zine
By this point Tank were still too good to ignore but losing ground in the metal world. A decent second album Power Of The Hunter came after their classic ’82 debut Filth Hounds Of Hades, but failed to capture any serious level of audience for the boys. Now expanded to a foursome (extra guitarist) the war thunders on, quite oblivious to the lack of play they were facing. But this is a slightly different Tank, one with a touch more weight and less desire to write short and sharp numbers. This could be an issue, but fortunately Algy Ward and his ranks had their game face on, writing seven sturdy and metal plated anthems that do the band’s legacy proud.
The loudest and proudest of those anthems is the amazing title song, one of the finest tunes ever in metal’s pantheon, a tough and true cry of determination written with ten pounds of guitar thunder stuffed into a one pound bag. Just unbelievable. The same goes for “Laughing In The Face Of Death,” and the sing-a-long of “(If We Go Down) We Go Down Fighting.” Closer “Echoes Of A Distant Battle” is also blessed with the war worn bullet belt riffage and steady pace we know and love Tank for, the album’s cause being helped by a dry and up front live sound. The band’s fortunes would cloud further from here, although some decent recordings would still some from ‘em. And would you believe it? They’re back and in good form these days, so please get on the internet and throw some love their way, will ya? There’s a good sod.
TANK's third full length called "This Means War" is the best one they've ever recorded... yet. It's very hard to describe the sound of TANK but a little hint is that they're not very far away from Motorhead, little more punkish metal with simple, but catchy, riffs, simple songstructures and a vocalist that sounds somewhere between Lemmy and Gene Simmons, still with a very unique voice.
On to the songs:
The album starts of with "Just Like Something From Hell". The intro contains some cool synth leads and then turns over to the fast main riff with a high pitched "AAAHHH" by Algy Ward. The verses are good and chorus is just awesome, the song is over 8 minutes long and withholds many great guitarsolos shifting between Mich Tucker and Peter Brabbs. Fucking excellent. 10/10
Second song is "Hot Lead And Cold Steel", which is little slower compared to the first one. This is a decent song with some good riffs, but it gets a little repetetive and boring sometimes, especially the chorus. The best thing with this song is the catchy pre-chorus and the mid section with the solos. 6/10
Third song is the title track that starts of with a catchy intro riff and then leads into a great mid paced verse, pre chorus and then the chorus - "Do you know just what this means... WAR" This is a very good song with, as always, awesome solos. 9/10
The B-side starts off with "Laughing In The Face Of Death" which raises the tempo once again with some great riffs, pretty fast vocals and a great chorus. This songs reminds me a bit of the faster Accept songs with the double bass drum and song structure. 8/10
"(If we go) We Go Down Fighting" starts with a cool bass intro soon joined by a cool riff, this song is equal to "Hot Lead And Cold Steel". Mid paced, good pre chorus and then boring chorus, but then again outstanding solos and a slower mid section that is very good. 7/10
"I (Won't Ever Let You Down)" is a very catchy tune with some singalong-alike chorus. Good riffs, especially the riffs right before the chorus. The song speeds up a little during the solo and then returns to the chorus then fades out (like most songs on this album). 8/10
The last song is "Echoes Of A Distant Battle" which is in overall a good song with some few downs. The lyrics is very well written and describes the heat of a battle. The riffs is very good with galloping verses. The outro has some strange drums and very strange choir vocals, i have no idea what they're singing or why they're there at all. 8/10
This album, or any TANK album, does'nt offer much variation, most of the songs are mid paced, fades out and lyrics about war. I still think that each song brings something good to the album, some songs could bring more and be better but it's still a very good album well worth buying.