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Holy Soldier - Promise Man

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This has to be one of the most under-rated albums of the 1990's.  Probably the biggest mistake that they made on this album was not their change in sound, but keeping the Holy Soldier name.  I think this album would have gone over much better had they chosen a different name and placed a sticker on the cover saying "featuring former members of Holy Soldier."  If you've heard Holy Soldier's first two albums and think you're going to get another dose of hair band metal with "Promise Man", you'd be in for a shock.  The hair band sound is nowhere to be found on this one and neither is Steven Patrick, who has one of the best voices in metal.  The only thing that is similar to their previous albums is three of the same members and the fact that David Zaffiro produced it with a superb production sound.  Other than that, get ready for some alternative grunge with lyrics that are everything from comforting to convicting.  The lead vocals are done by Eric Wayne, who does have a good voice and fits very well within the grunge sound.  One of the stand-out features of this album is their cover of Larry Norman's "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus."  This album is surely worth checking out, but the best way to listen to it is to NOT think of it as the Holy Soldier from the past.  I think their first two albums totally rock and I'm a huge fan of hair band metal...and still very much enjoy "Promise Man".  There's some catchy tunes here like the title track (that easily gets stuck in your head), "Cover Me" (which has a distorted chorus that sounds so cool), and "Grind" that has a very strong "do your Christian duty and spread the Gospel" type message.  There's even a few ballads that somewhat refect the old days of metal, sort of.  If you've not heard "Promise Man", check it out...if you have heard it, give it a second chance with a new perspective and you may discover a great album you overlooked or under-rated.  Favorite songs: "Promise Man", "Break It Down", "Cover Me", and "Grind".  (Review by Gary)

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