Holy Soldier started off as a melodic heavy metal from Los Angeles, CA in the mid-80's. Several well known musicians, including Larry Farkas of Vengeance Rising/Once Dead have been a part of the band. The band has had several vocalists, but Steven Patrick recorded the band's first two albums, although several tours had Eric Wayne filling in for Steven. Holy Solider were the first heavy metal band to ever be signed by Word Records. After two great metal albums, the band was dropped from Word, and apparently broke up for a short time. They eventually reformed with Eric Wayne as their full time vocalist and recorded a third album called "Promise Man" that was a total change in style. The band re-emerged in 2004 playing one show with Steven Patrick in August at the Up From the Ashes show in Anaheim, CA. Larry Farkas also joined the band one stage for this special show. The band is once again reformed with another new vocalist and is set to record a new CD.
Holy Soldier play melodic, somewhat commercial heavy metal with strong hooks and killer vocals by Steven Patrick. "Tear Down the Walls" is a fast and heavy song and one of my all time favorites. The album was capably produced by David Zaffiro. A strong debut from a band that will soon become total crap. This album was fetching some good money for a while because it was hard to find and out of print, but was recently re-released. There was also a cassette single released for this album that I've seen sell for close to $10 on ebay.
Had my copy signed by Steven Patrick, Jamie Cramer, Terry Russell, and Andy Robbins when Holy Soldier reunited for the Up From the Ashes show, along with Once Dead, Ultimatum, Neon Cross, Tykkus and several others.
Holy Soldier's second disc stays within the boundaries of melodic metal, but is much mellower and a bit blusier than their debut. I still really like it as Holy Soldier know how to write a hook! Vocalist Steven Patrick has a great voice and really makes the band, in my opinion. 'Gimme Shelter' an excellent Rolling Stones song, is capably redone on this disc. This album. like the debut, was also produced by ex-Bloodgood guitarist David Zaffiro. I can only imagine that a lack of proper marketing by their record company was their only reason for not becoming as big as bands like Stryper or Skid Row, because this album simply has everything that a good commercial metal album should have. "Last Trail" is out of print and much harder to find than the first album saw a limited edition reprint in 1999. I'd pick out some favorite tracks but I really do just enjoy the entire album from beginning to end.
Had my copy signed by Steven Patrick, Jamie Cramer, and Terry Russell when Holy Soldier reunited for the Up From the Ashes show, along with Once Dead, Ultimatum, Neon Cross, Tykkus and several others.
I hated this album when it came out. First of all, Steven Patrick is no longer on board, which totally changes the sound of the band. New singer Eric Wayne doesn't have the charisma that Steven had. Also, the band changed styles to a more "modern" sound, taking on a bluesy-grunge radio rock sound, which sucks! I cringed when I read interviews by this band as they denied that they were ever really a metal band and claimed that they were finally doing what they really always wanted to do and "getting back to our roots." Whatever! Your roots are in Los Angeles, CA -- HEAVY METAL! The truth is, Holy Soldier lost their recording contract and since the Christian scene is so small and does not support music unless it's trendy, Holy Soldier changed their sound to get a new contract with another big Christian company. The album sold well and got some radio airplay, but the fact is, they disc is still a big sellout. I am very disappointed!
After their last album I swore I'd not buy another Holy Soldier album, despite being such a huge fan and liking their first two albums so much. Well, I had to purchase this mostly live album because Steven Patrick was back for this one time recording. Of course Eric Wayne is around as well, singing the new songs and sharing the spotlight on a few songs. What I said about "Promise Man" really holds true when the two singers are put side by side ("Stranger"). Steven has a greater range and more charisma to his voice than new singer Eric. Anyhow, the first track is a new studio track, which I push the skip button past every time as it continues in that grungy, modern rock style from "Promise Man". The next 10 songs are rather good. Even the "Promise Man" songs are a bit better in the live setting, but of course the earlier material is what makes this disc worth while for me. The last two songs are studio tracks as well. "Eyes of the Innocence" is from the first album but this remake features Pat Boone on vocals and is absolutely terrible! It sounds like a cow is singing the song. The last song is another lame attempt at modern radio rock. The liner notes are cool as they offer some information on each song, like where the song went on the charts, what awards it won, etc. This disc was released independently by the band but was later picked up by a label and re-released with a black cover.
Holy Soldier - Live, Rare and Raw (Roxx Productions) 2006
A New Beginning - Live,
Nov. 2005 w/ Don Russell
A DVD for die-hard fans. This DVD is a collection of live videos, video clips and interview footage from the band's personal collections. Some of the footage is professionally shot, others are nothing more than a camcorder recording. The sound is also rough around the edges in places. However, this is still a collection of material that die-hard fans should be pleased with. Especially interesting to me was the material that included Larry Farkas on guitar. Larry is such a shredder and sort of stuck out like a sore thumb in this band. While he sounded great with Holy Soldier, his image was a bit tougher than the rest of the band. I suppose this is why he left not long after to join Deliverance then Vengeance Rising. "Live, Rare and Raw" is an interesting peak into the history of a classic Christian band.
The bonus Up From the Ashes material is cool. All three live tracks seem to feature better video and sound than much of the Holy Soldier material. However, I did think that the mix was a little uneven as the vocals seemed loud for all three bands and the background vocals were nonexistant. Still the material is very listenable and this is a minor complaint. The Neon Cross song is quite cool as it has never been released on any other Neon Cross recording. This is one heavy, classic hymn and features Holy Soldier drummer Terry Russell. I am a bit bias about the Ultimatum song, but I think the performance is tight and the video footage is quite good. Steve Trujillo tore it up on the opening of the song. It's a shame that the footage of Holy Soldier playing Zeppelin's "Rock n' Roll" with Larry Farkas and members of Neon Cross couldn't have been included. That would have been something to see.