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FEATURES
  WEAPON UK
'Rising From The Ashes'
Worldwide Release Date: April 23rd 2014


Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske

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weapon uk

Those of us of a certain vintage are old enough to remember the NWOBHM movement when it first came about.

Since those heady days, there have been a few bands who made it in a big way, some who have never stopped (stand up and take a bow Praying Mantis), some who never quite made it and have started up again since and others who got noticed but didn't last too long, usually due to the reptilian nature of the music industry in those days.

Weapon fit quite snugly in the last category and fortunately, like some notable others, they decided to get together again some 25 years after their original offerings.

Article continues below...

   


For those young guys and gals, as well as those who were just plain pickled and have lost all memory of the time, the band came to the attention of the music industry and the public in late 70s (that's the 1970s).

To cut a long story very short, they changed their name to Weapon in 1980, got a deal from Virgin, had a double A side single released featuring 'Mad Mad World' and 'Set The Stage Alight' and most notably supported the mighty Motorhead on a 32 date UK tour in the days when tour meant tour.

Set for a good year in 81, it all went the same way as an England World Cup campaign, in their case due to Virgin deciding not to release the album, which had been written already, and more than a little in fighting, which ironically was the reason they got the Motorhead tour the year before after Lemmy saw them at a gig where the band members were generally pissed off with each other and, not to put too fine a point on it, didn't care too much about the audience. Lemmy proclaimed that "any band that can have that amount of contempt for an audience has to tour with us".

After the members all headed off in dfferent directions (presumably to the nearest pubs), nothing more was heard from Weapon until 2005 when they regrouped to celebrate what would have been their 25th anniversary. A few gigs and rave reviews later, material written for a new album, and slight line-up changes Weapon went at it full throttle.

So to 2014 and the long awaited album, the very aptly named 'Rising From The Ashes'.

There have been a few hiccups along the way, not least having to change their name to Weapon UK after a Canadian band called Weapon threw their toys out of the pram as they laid claim to the name, even though they didn't start up until about a quarter of a century after the Weapon we are concerned with... go figure.

And to make it worse, the Canadian lot now have ceased to be.

weapon uk

The current incarnation of the UK version of Weapon features original members, vocalist Danny Hynes and guitarist Jeff Summers joined by drummer Ian Sweeting and bassist PJ Philips. Additional vocals are handled by Jeff and PJ.

For those aficionados of the original Weapon, there is a bonus track on the album that features the other two original members, Baz Downes on bass and vocals and drummer Bruce Bisland (Statetrooper/The Sweet) who also adds his vocal touches.

First into the mix is 'Prelude - The Awakening'. The band very wisely showed their sensible side and went with putting the prelude at the beginning of the album and it comes in at just under two minutes. Of course the long rock intro is not exactly a novel concept, in fact on occasions it seems as if it is a legal stipulation. This one though is a well thought out one, giving a good indication of what is to come – eerie and dramatic, anthemic and inspiring, leading perfectly into the first full length track 'Ride The Mariah!'

Immediately grabbing the attention, classic guitar groove, thundering drums, falling perfectly into harmony as the vocals hit. Catchy melody, great chorus hook, refrain leading to screaming guitar solo. The end of the song is actually one of the cleverest and most enjoyable parts – so often a time filling excercise in repetition. This time though it is full of melodic interplay between vocals and guitar, drums and bass giving them both a boot up the jacksy from behind. Great stuff indeed.

'Fountain Of Paradise' is next up. The beginnings may surprise you if you are expecting straight up NWOBHM sound – that was thirty odd years ago and more of the same would be as pointless as non alcoholic beer. Think a touch of classic Van Halen, most definitely Diamond Dave era.

A little slice of sleaze thrown in before the chorus, melodic and catchy, brings back memories of the Diamond one 'Skyscraper' era. Widdly guitar thrown in for good measure, clever rising vocals on each line before chorus comes belting in again. Catchy and effective guitar riff at the end, bludgeoning its way to conclusion.

Songwriter and guitarist Jeff Summers (he is the main songwriter on the album) does seem to have a thing about sticky fingers in this one but you will have to ask him about that one.

'Warrior' drifts on out of the speakers next. Nifty, funky riff, drums and bass weaving their way over the top, vocals understated and effective. The riff pulling the track along all the while, stopping only to let the melodic chorus have full effect. Superb guitar solo in the middle, Summers' man in black influences very evident (that's Mr Blackmore not Mr Cash) and he is at it at the end of the song as well before bone crunching finale. Great track, filled with melody, harmony and well placed backing vocals.

Next one out the gate is 'Ready 4 U' and firstly hats off to the fellas for getting the hang of text talk. The title may be familiar to you and that is probably because it was actually a single out way back in 2011, one that debuted on the rock show I did back then, Heavy Rock Rapture.

This one was naturally enough the first airing of the new Weapon (still Weapon then before having to add the UK – keep up). Immediately catchy, a good choice as the single, an out and out rocker and the guys got to shoot a rooftop video to boot. It was very well received when it was first released although unfortunately the rest of the album didn't follow hot on its heels.

'Burning Skies' is the first of two tracks on the album with songwriting credits going to all four members of the band, so a thoroughly joint effort (no, not that sort of joint) in all departments. Judging by what they created with this, democratic input with this band is to be positively encouraged. Effects at the beginning swiftly giving way to raunchy guitar speeding forward, drums galloping hurrying the song along, vocals both forceful and passionate.

This has a different feel to what has come before, a little darker yet uplifting musically, filled with tales of doom yet strangely inspiring. "As the dawn calls the fires alive, brings the western demise, eastern heavens arise" could have been written about what is going on in Ukraine at the moment and Putin even gets a mention; "the hand of Satan brings a new low".

Musically a very well written track, filled with scorching guitar, pummelling drums and bass with vocals on top of it giving gravitas to proceedings, each of the several sections almost its own entity. Thinking man's rock this one.

'Alamein' quietens things down, but fear not oh headbanging junkies, there is more of that fodder to come. This is the ballad on the album as you may have guessed by now although, thank God, it never descends into the all too familiar pap that masquerades as a ballad on many albums (note to bands, there is only one outfit who can get away with pap and they are called Aerosmith).

This one actually starts off with quite a dark, sombre mood to it and lyrics to match: "But in the real world, brothers and angels burn, when will we ever learn, when will we care".

If you want a comparison, think a little touch of White Lion's classic 'When The Children Cry', especially in the early part of the song, musical and feel. It is actually quite a powerful song, inspiring lyrics from the pen of Jeff Summers, given perfect voice by Danny Hynes and the guitar solo in the middle has that moving, minor chord effect. Very well written it is too and it has no need to go up tempo to keep interest in the song.

Next up and Danny wants to take me by the hand and take me to 'Wonderland' or so he sings. The track is a meaty in your face rocker with marauding rhythm section really belting this one along, cool and injection fuelled guitar riff, vocals banging out the melody throughout. Throw in a cool refrain, widdling overload on the guitar solo and you have a diamond track.

See I told all you hair shakers that you wouldn't have to wait long. There is a touch of the anthemic about this one as well and the kind of track that may lead to speeding fines if you stick it on in your car.

'Blood Soaked Rock' is just how I like the stuff and as luck would have it, also the title of the next track – amazing coincidence eh?

It kicks off with some cool drumming from all round drumming dude Ian Sweeting and launches into yet another quality song packed full with melody, memorable riffs and powerful rhythm beat behind it all. This one has single written all over it and is the kind of song that may prove to be very popular with our friends over the pond and radio stations alike.

'Bad Reputation', apart from being a damn fine Thin Lizzy song and a good female quality, also happens to be the title of the next one on offer. This is the second one that is a true songwriting collaboration (does that make it a musical Quisling?), with all the band members getting writing credits.

Once again, strong guitar riffs boot it into overdrive, intricate bass patterns scattered all through it giving it that little bit extra, great guitar solo in the middle. You will have your body jiggling and feet twitching with this one.

So to 'Celebration Time'. I'm not sure about the humour, intentional or otherwise, of suggesting we all celebrate because the album is coming to an end (there is only one band that applies to... yep, you guessed it, Coldplay).

The track is another stonker, starting off with some cool fret sliding madness from Mr Summers before the rest of the quartet join in and he loses control of his fingers again at the end of the impressive guitar solo to very good effect. This one moves along very well, the guitar strutting its stuff throughout, sitting perfectly alongside the vocals. A well crafted song and a suitable way to close the album.

But being well known for putting a spanner in the works on most occasions, I will do it again as this isn't quite the end.

The bonus track, as I touched on, features all four of the original members – they have stayed friends through the years and it was only through misfortune that they couldn't all do the whole album. It is definitely a good move to throw this one in.

'Killer Instinct' immediately starts off in a different vein to what has come before. The intro is a great way to showcase the other two originals leading seamlessly into the track, bludgeoning guitar at the fore although never overpowering the rest of the band, more melodic vocals and hook. The rhythm section keeping everything together. Anyone who has seen Bruce drumming will know he can give the skins as fine a pounding as anyone and that is very evident in this.

So that is your lot and hopefully you won't have to wait so long for the next release. If you were expecting a rehash of the old NWOBHM staples then you will be disappointed but perhaps it is time you stopped living in the past if that is the case. Each of the band members has done a lot since the original days and the result is a more mature, varied and generally improved output.

This is particularly evident in the songwriting, the cornerstone of any good album – without that in place, it really doesn't matter how good the musicians are – and with Weapon UK the songwriting is most definitely in place.

All in all a very good album and proof that getting back together was the right decision even if it did take longer than expected.

You can pre order the album from the band's website, www.weapon-uk.com, and from April 23rd it will be available on iTunes and CD Baby.


beer beer beerbeerbeer


16.4.14





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Experience the world's biggest Metal Festival at home and be in with a chance to win a Lifetime Membership...

uncle rust UNCLE RUST ANNOUNCE AUGUST UK TOUR
The recently formed London based rock/Metal band will undertake a set of UK dates in August 2014...

blitzkreig BLITZKRIEG ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
The band will visit five countries on their only tour this year...

sonisphere LATE NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AT SONISPHERE ANNOUNCED
Only two weeks away - get ready to continue the party after the headliners leave the stage...

finntroll FINNTROLL REVEAL LIVE FOOTAGE OF SEMINAL TRACK 'TROLLHAMMAREN', FILMED AT THEIR LIVE ALBUM RECORDING SHOW IN AMSTERDAM
"Lock up your daughters, kegs of rum and men of God, for The Trolls from Up North are coming for you...live!..."

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE REVEAL NEW VIDEO 'THE GAME' (FEAT. MATT HEAFY OF TRIVIUM)
The track is taken from the album 'Maximum Overload', which will be released in August...

motorhead aftershock MOTÖRHEAD RELEASE 'AFTERSHOCK - TOUR EDITION' ON 7TH JULY
The album is released with a live CD. It proves one major thing no-one should ever forget...they are Motörhead, and they play rock'n'roll!...

grave GRAVE REISSUE 'SOULLESS' ON VINYL ON JULY 14
The limited editions of the third album by the Swedish Death Metal act are issued in several colours...

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE DETAILS FOR NEW ALBUM 'DEVIL SEED'
All the elements are aligned for this fierce slab of pure Heavy Metal mayhem...

darkest era DARKEST ERA RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'BEYOND THE GREY VEIL'
Watch the thematic centerpiece for the album 'Severance' right here...

hordes of belial DEF CON ONE ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINERS FOR HORDES OF BELIAL V: A 2014 SCOTTISH EXCLUSIVE
The Geordie quartet will play the Dundee event along with other high quality Metal bands...

sikth SIKTH ANNOUNCE HEADLINE TOUR OF THE UK
"We decided we had to do a full UK tour, just one show was never gonna be enough for us... Also we aim to add some 'never played before live songs' too"...

tankard TANKARD ANNOUNCE HILARIOUS NEW ANIMATED VIDEO FOR 'FOOLED BY YOUR GUTS'
The latest track from 'R.I.B.' (Rest In Beer) has been created by producers from The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology...

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE US SUMMER DATES WITH KISS & DEF LEPPARD
The band are ready to "bring some some kick ass, analog rock and roll music to all of you with the legendary KISS and Def Leppard and help make your summer as memorable as possible"...

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE ONE-OFF INTIMATE UK SHOW AT THE BORDERLINE, LONDON
The Borderline show is on 27th June. The Metal heavyweights will also headline Yorkshire's Ghostfest on 28th June...

Eluveitie ELUVEITIE RELEASE FIRST SINGLE 'KING' ONLINE, TAKEN FROM THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'ORIGINS'
The Swiss Folk-Metallers release a mighty tale of the historical figure Ambicatus...

sikth UK TECH-FEST WELCOMES THE GODFATHERS OF UK TECH-METAL SIKTH TO THE BILL
Djent monsters Monuments and acoustic guitar master Jon Gomm also join the line up...

escape the fate ESCAPE THE FATE ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR OCTOBER 2014
Now it is time for UK audiences to get their first look at the new look Escape The Fate...

anthrax ANTHRAX ANNOUNCE LIMITED EDITION COLOURED VINYLS AS PART OF THRASH BACK CAMPAIGN
Celebrate 30 years of Thrash with reissues from Anthrax and other classic bands...

gatecreeper GATECREEPER RELEASE VIDEO FOR THEIR SELF TITLED EP
'Force Fed' is available as one of the tracks on the pay what you want download...

jonny morelli JONNY MORELLI, DRAUGR DRUMMER DIES IN CAR ACCIDENT
Condolences start to pour in for the musician, tattoo artist and writer...

at the gates AT THE GATES ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER IRISH SHOW, BLOODSHOT DAWN TO SUPPORT
Swedish Melodic Death Metal pioneers to play Dublin in January 2015...

nita strauss ALICE COOPER ADDS NEW GUITARIST NITA STRAUSS TO LINEUP FOR 2014 SUMMER/FALL TOURS
The LA guitar wiz will join the tour in Michigan on June 26...

whitechapel WHITECHAPEL PREMIERE NEW VIDEO 'WORSHIP THE DIGITAL AGE'
The clip is the first full performance video from 'Our Endless War' and was directed by acclaimed director David Brodsky...

behemoth BEHEMOTH, DECAPITATED & GRAND MAGUS ANNOUNCED FOR DECEMBER TOUR
A chance for the UK to see 'The Satanist' performed in all its hellish glory...

steel panther STEEL PANTHER ANNOUNCE THEIR BIGGEST EVER UK TOUR
The dates include a night at the legendary Wembley arena in March 2015...

alestorm ALESTORM UNVEIL NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'DRINK'
If you need a new anthem of the summer then look no further...

rik mayall RIK MAYALL'S 'NOBLE ENGLAND' SONG HEADING FOR NUMBER ONE SPOT AS ENGLAND'S WORLD CUP ANTHEM
The beloved late comedian looks set to storm the UK Top 10 with his lost anthem...

red dragon cartel EXCLUSIVE: RED DRAGON CARTEL GIGS BACK ON - BAND TO PLAY MANCHESTER AND BUCKLEY THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
Tickets for both shows will be at the special price of £10 as a gesture to fans who were inconvenienced by last weekend's events...

brutal truth DAN LILKER OF BRUTAL TRUTH INVITES YOU TO OBSCENE EXTREME FESTIVAL
This will most likely be the very last chance fans will get to see Danny and Brutal Truth live in Europe...

belphegor BELPHEGOR PUT THE FIRST 'CONJURING THE DEAD' STUDIO TRAILER ONLINE
The Black Metal giants are gearing up to unleash their tenth album ...

ill nino ILL NIÑO RELEASE ALBUM TITLE AND NEW SINGLE
Every pre-order for Till Death, La Familia will receive an instant download of 'Live Like There's No Tomorrow' and will automatically be entered to win an ESP guitar autographed by Ill Niño. ...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS WILL BE OPENING ACT FOR KISS AND DEF LEPPARD THIS SUMMER
The new album 'High Priestess' will be released in September...

triaxis becky TRIAXIS ANNOUNCE NEW BASSIST & NEW ALBUM PLANS
Outstanding bassist Becky Baldwin joins the Welsh Metallers for third studio album...

rival sons tour RIVAL SONS ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR
Following their current run of sold-out dates, the Californians return this winter with their unmissable live show...

spike frankie miller SPIKE ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF '100% PURE FRANKIE MILLER' IN SEPTEMBER 2014
The celebratory album features Ronnie Wood, Andy Fraser, Simon Kirke, Ian Hunter and more...

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY REVEAL NEW VIDEO FOR 'NO MORE REGRETS'
The album 'War Eternal' is out now worldwide and the band hit the road from July to December...

sanctuary SANCTUARY FINISH RECORDING NEW ALBUM AND ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE DATE
'The Year The Sun Died' will be out on September 29th in Europe...

rock metal circus ROCK AND METAL CIRCUS ANNOUNCE NEW VENUE FOR 2015
Roll up to Northants for Voodoo Six, Tygers of Pan Tang, Wolf plus some of the hottest new acts around...

aor 3 NIGHT RANGER TO HEADLINE HRH AOR 3
Adrenaline-fuleed rock and roll is the latest addition to the bill...

alz grinder ALZ-GRINDERS PLAN GRINDING FOR A CURE VOL 4
Over 300 extreme bands have contributed to the fundraising albums so far...

cambridge rock festival LINE-UP FOR CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL ALMOST COMPLETE
The main stage is booked and stages 2 and 3 are filling up fast...

headbangers open air ANVIL REPLACE DEATH ANGEL FOR HEADBANGERS OPEN AIR
After Death Angel cancelled their entire European tour, Anvil step in with a special "best of" set...

uli jon roth ULI JON ROTH CANCELS GUITAR GODS DATES IN NORTH AMERICA
It's official - this guitar god has been grounded by visa problems...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA ANNOUNCES NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE'
The new album of all original material lands on 22nd September...

red dragon cartel BREAKING NEWS: RED DRAGON CARTEL ISSUE STATEMENT OVER WOLVERHAMPTON GIG CANCELLATION
The band made a barbed official statement denying the reasons for the cancellation made by the promoter without actually addressing the main issue...

red dragon cartel BREAKING NEWS: RED DRAGON CARTEL CANCEL WOLVERHAMPTON SHOW, REST OF UK TOUR IS OFF, DOWNLOAD IN JEOPARDY
An argument broke out between the band and promoter Denise Dale who was representing Metal Music Bookings and Management...

uli jon roth ULI JON ROTH FACES CANCELLATION OF HIS PARTICIPATION IN GUITAR GODS TOUR
"The tour is in jeopardy...this has never happened in over thirty years of visas"...

les fest wiston LES-FEST ANNOUNCES MAIN STAGE TIMES
Get the latest from Scotland's premier Metal festival right here...

beermageddon METAL FEST BEERMAGEDDON STRENGTHEN THE LINE UP YET AGAIN...WITH EVEN MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
Jaldaboath, Monumentomb and Furyborn are among the latest additions...

blues pills DORIAN SORRIAUX FROM BLUES PILLS PERFORMS A GUITAR PLAY-THROUGH OF THE BAND'S NEW TRACK
Watch and learn as Dorian deconstructs 'High Class Woman'...

cj wildheart CJ WILDHEART RELEASES FIRST SOLO ALBUM IN SEVEN YEARS
'Mable' is available for pre-order now via Pledgemusic. CJ will also be releasing his own brand of hot sauces this year...

hrh aor3 HRH AOR ANNOUNCE FIRST 10 BANDS
FM, Dare, The Poodles and Starz lead the charge for March 2015...

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