Weapon UK – “Ghosts Of War” (Pure Steel Records)
Wow, I remember seeing these guys support Motörhead back in the 80s, then nothing, so it’s great that they’re not only back, but with their 2nd full length album since reforming in 2010! Still with the core of Danny Hynes on vocals and Jeff Summers on guitar, they’ve since recruited ex Rogue Male bassist Tony Forsythe and aussie drummer Darren Lee to make up a machine that well and truly lives up to the band’s name. If you remember the days of to-die-for headbanging riffs, ecstatic guitar god solos and pure heavy metal thunder, then Weapon UK have brought it all back handsomely here complete with a modern sound production that makes “Ghosts Of War” nothing short of a dream. With 10 new songs and a re-recording of their classic song ‘Set The Stage Alight’ from 1981, the performances especially of Hynes and Summers show scarcely any signs of rust, in fact, they actually sound better than before! From the warbling NWOBHM intro complete with police siren on the title track, the thick but catchy riffs grab you by the scruff of the neck as Lee’s pistoning kick drums hit in while Hynes’s more laid back vocals in the style of Phil Lynott add the perfect complement along with touches of Celtic melodies and harmonies that really make the song stand out – not forgetting Summer’s blinding solo that really makes you want to break out that air guitar again. Giving US stadium bands a run for their money on ‘Tournique’ with its dripping in attitude main riff, Hynes’s truly moving soul adds an equal measure of grace to match the dirt being unleashed by Summers backed by Forsythe’s heavy bass on yet another interesting and memorable track. Proving utterly irresistible, the completely OTT ‘Set The Stage Alight’ is a total neck breaker thanks to Summers’s shredding axework backed by Lee’s double bass drumming while Hynes’s vocals take this even higher i.e. straight to headbanger heaven. From superb songs to excelling musical talent, “Ghosts Of War” proves that Weapon UK are back with a vengeance!