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Review: Weapon UK - Ghosts of War
Weapon UK
Ghosts of War

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 46:32
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: August 22, 2019
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Ghosts of War

Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

Classic NWOBHM band Weapon UK (just Weapon back in the day) continues their resurgence 38 years removed from the 1981 demo that included well-known tracks like "Liar," "Mad Mad World" and the one that put the boys on the map, the superlative "Set the Stage Alight." Ghosts of War is the band's second proper full-length and it is a return to form that blows 2014's Rising from the Ashes right out of the water. In my review of Rising, I noted that Weapon UK are at heart a rock band and that hasn't changed on Ghosts of War, but they've also remembered the "M" in NWOBHM stands for METAL.

The record kicks off with the title track, a dark, cautionary song that burns with intense riffing and solemn lyrics. It's got the feel of the early '80s despite a modern sound and it wouldn't be surprising if this song had origins reaching back a few decades. Other fist-in-the-air riff fests include "Redman" and "Emerald God" which also deal with more serious topics, but it bears repeating, Weapon UK is a rock band and the up-tempo anthem has not been left behind. "Queen of the Ride" beautifully blends the early US blues-based song structure, speeded up of course, with a UK sense of melody. "'79 Revisited" is exactly what you'd expect it to be about, an ode to the early days of a rock band and the lifestyle that corresponded. Original singer Danny Hynes and guitarist Jeff Summers sound great, as if only a few years have passed since the demo years (new members Darren Lee and Tony Forsythe are pretty good, too). Oh, did I mention they simply kill on the re-recorded "Set the Stage Alight"?

Weapon UK were one of the best-sounding bands of the NWOBHM, even if their output was on the lighter side, and it is amazing to hear how good they sound today after so much time has passed. Ghosts of War is a fantastic hard rock/heavy metal album that has the vibe of the early '80s nailed. If metal from that era is your thing, the way it is mine, you're gonna need this one.

Other related information on the site
Review: Rising from the Ashes (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Set the Stage Alight - The Anthology (reviewed by MetalMike)
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