Behold the warrior! Spartan Warrior! Blasting from Great Britain, Spartan Warrior was a part of the NWOBHM movement issuing their first album, Steel n’ Chains, in 1983. The band consisted of Dave Wilkinson (vocals), Neil Wilkinson (guitar), Tom Spencer (bass), Gordon Webster (drums) and Paul Swaddle (guitar). 1984 saw their self-titled sophomore effort hitting shelves. Back then it really was shelves, nowadays I have to say hitting computer screens. Both releases acquired critical acclaim but tensions within the group, as well as problems with the label, ensured that would be it for Spartan Warrior…..
Until, that is, a reforming in 2009. Original members and presumably relations based on surnames, Dave and Neil Wilkinson, Tom Spencer, and Gordon Webster all returned. Adding Mark Chapple (guitar), the album Behind Closed Eyes came in 2010 and saw the band returning to the live arena once again. Today, only the Wilkinsons remain in Spartan Warrior. Along with them, we find Dan Rochester (guitar), Tim Morton (bass), and James Charlton (drums) completing Spartan Warrior. On February 23, 2018, their latest creation, Hell To Pay arrives courtesy of Pure Steel Records.
SPARTAN WARRIOR – Hell To Pay (Album Review)
Spartan Warrior – Hell To Pay starts with a big bite. The charging sounds right out of the 80’s NWOBHM movement. And better yet, it basically doesn’t let up for the full run of the album! Somehow slipping by me in their heyday, this release has me frantically searching for more Spartan Warrior! The triple threat opening, referred to by me as “the do or die” for an album rips the heart out instantly as “Hell To Pay” greets you upon dropping the needle. Unfortunately, the track only runs for about two and a half minutes. Not to worry as it’s the shortest track of the collection. Spewing attitude, as the title “Bad Attitude” may suggest, track two asks “Hey you, what the fuck you looking at?” shortly after its anthem beginnings. Thirdly we find “Letting Go” with a chugging catchiness that resonates long after listening.
The remainder of Spartan Warrior – Hell To Pay fares as well as the opening trio, with no filler in my eyes. From the thumping thrashiness of “Court of Clowns” to the closer, “In Memorium” the neck breaking head banging surges on. The only exception being the slower and softer sounds of the ballad “Something To Believe In”, which as ballads go is not the worst I’ve heard. To be fair, I basically hate any and all ballads, but this still a decent listen. Probably my top choice of the collection is “Covered In Lust”. There’s just something about it from the pounding rhythm driving it forward to the infectious repetitive chorus.
Overall a great album and a definite current contender for the top ten of 2018. Thank-you Spartan Warrior!