|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By: Armand John Petri|
|Record Label: Pure Metal||Country Of Origin: UK|
|Year Released: 1988||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 8||Rating: 35%|
|Running Time: 31:40|
In the early eighties, vocalist and guitarist Charlie Wilson was the member of a UK band named 100% Proof that recorded a great hard rock album entitled Power And The Glory. Wilson returns with a new band in Force 3 that, similar to 100% Proof, plays straightforward guitar driven hard rock on its 1988 Pure Metal debut Warrior Of Light. Wilson contributes a very fine mid-octave ranged voice and displays solid ability on rhythm guitar; however, his work on lead guitar does not always cut it, often coming across in a manner that is directionless if not uninspired. Bassist G.B. Bennett and drummer Andy Jackson round out the rhythm section.
Warrior Of Light suffers from a bottom heavy, muffled sounding and reverb soaked production job. The lead guitar and bass both get lost in the mix. Likewise, the lead vocals sound as if they are coming from the bottom of a well. Both the rhythm guitar and drums, on the other hand, receive an adequate mix.
The album artwork is quite good in displaying a warrior in futuristic armor holding a glowing sword while being struck by lightning from the heavens.
Opening the album to a hard hitting riff, a crunchy rhythm guitar drives “Heartbeat” forward strong and steady until it reaches a chorus with a good catchy hook. An instrumental passage limited to several seconds of restrained lead guitar fails to cut it.
"Trouble In The Streets" immediately gets underway to a driving riff that quickly propels it at an upbeat tempo to a strong forcefully delivered chorus. I wish the band had expanded upon an instrumental break carried by a few brief seconds of run-of-the-mill lead guitar work.
The trite sounding hard rock of "Wondering" plods along through its first verse at a tiresome mid-tempo pace. Repeating the same pattern for its seconds and final verse, Wilson closes out the song with a minute of very well done lead guitar work.
"Golgotha (He Is Risen)" captures much of the brilliance found on 100% Proof's Power And The Glory. Beginning to a quietly played guitar line as the rhythm guitar fades in and out of the mix, the song slowly moves through its first and second verse to a punchy bass line as Wilson describes the events leading to Christ's crucifixion:
As a king they stood Him trial
Mocked and beaten for a while...
On a hill that's where it will be
There to die nailed to a tree
After the rhythm guitar again fades in and out of the mix, Wilson details Christ's crucifixion during the songs third and final verse:
The wooden cross is hauled up high
For it is here that He's to die...
It is finished is the mighty cry
As Gods own Son is left to die
Wilson follows with just under a minute of bluesy lead guitar work before he depicts the resurrection.
Three days in a borrowed tomb
His body lay was not consumed
For when the rock was rolled away
Nought was found by the sunlights ray
HE IS RISEN!
Subsequent to a bass guitar solo, the rhythm guitar returns and stands in support of Wilson as he ends the song by continually repeating the phrase "HE IS RISEN!" Great song.
Several seconds of open air rhythm guitar opens "See The Light" before a driving riff carries its first verse in a repetitious fashion, the lackluster atmosphere maintained as the song advances through its third and final verse. Wilson contributes several seconds of gritty lead guitar work following both its first and second verse.
Introduced to a drum solo, an edgy rhythm guitar propels "Miracle" forward hard and heavy until it crests for a chorus I might describe as pedestrian at best. Wilson's uninspired lead guitar work fails to make the grade.
The upbeat hard rocker "Don't Give Up" jumps out of the gate in a fast paced manner only to hit a wall upon arriving at a chorus that, for a lack of better words, is completely forgettable. The song slows for an instrumental passage featuring several seconds of bluesy but lifeless lead guitar work. Poorly written lyrics only compound the problem:
While I know life ain't easy
No life ain't easy
Well I know life ain't easy
To live right
How painful does it have to get?
The albums title track, similar to "Golgotha (He Is Risen)", brings to mind the excellence of Power And The Glory. Commencing to vocal harmonies in the form of Gregorian chanting, "Warrior Of Light" launches into a hard hitting riff that immediately takes it to an anthem-like chorus:
Warrior of Light - destroy the force of darkness
Warrior of Light - destroy, destroy...
The song maintains a ton of energetic momentum as it slows as pounding drums carry its verse. Wilson ends the song to two minutes of the albums best lead guitar work.
Warrior Of Light is an album that, for a lack of better words, is characterized by erratic songwriting, poor production values and inconsistent musicianship. That being said, Force 3 certainly does not lack talent, and any follow up effort recorded by the band certainly would have displayed demonstrated improvement.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "Heartbeat" (3:09), "Trouble On The Streets" (2:49), "Wondering" (2:55), "Golgotha (He Is Risen)" (6:08), "See The Light" (2:58), "Miracles" (5:02), "Don’t Give Up" (3:01), "Warrior Of Light" (5:34)
Charlie Wilson – Lead Vocals & Guitars
G.B. Bennett – Bass
Andy Jackson - Drums