HOLY SOLDIER: Holy Soldier (Remastered)

A little late to the glam metal and hair band scene, Holy Soldier was no slouch. I always thought of them, at least initially, as a cross between Bloodgood and Stryper. The Bloodgood influence was obviously from producer/guitarist David Zaffiro, his signature sound smattered all over the original 10 tracks. Whereas contemporaries Les Carlson and Michael Sweet were singing more in the stratosphere during that early era of Christian metal, Steven Patrick’s voice brought a nice tempered tone to the mix. And while the guitars on the debut had that more treble cutting Zaffiro quality, Andy Robbins bass guitar packed a powerful low-end punch to round out the sound. The songs on this debut were well-crafted – a nice mixture of fast, middle-paced and more ballad-like numbers – a quality that has kept this album very listenable and still quite engaging all these years later. One thing, in my opinion, that set these guys apart from other metal bands in this genre was the care they put into the lyrical content. Most hair bands had a very narrow repertoire of thoughts and expressions, but Holy Soldier writes beautiful and insightful lyrics – very inspiring and uplifting.

This long overdue reissue (available now on both CD and vinyl) is much easier on the ears, compared to the original, largely due to the enhanced low frequency boost. I A/B’d this with the 1990 Myrrh version using the same system settings. Not only has the overall volume been boosted on the remaster, but you can really feel Robbins’ bass jump out of the mix now, especially on bass heavy songs like “See No Evil” (one of the best songs from this album), “Cry Out For Love” and “When The Reign Comes Down.” These changes seem to lend more power and presence to the drums as well. The overall effect is a much more satisfying aural experience, one considerably less “ear fatiguing.” The benefit isn’t just limited to the mid-paced rockers, though, as there is just a ton more power in the speedy melodic metal rocker “Tear Down The Walls.”

The CD version includes the Myrrh radio spot (the hyperbole kind of comical, in a good way) and the last song the band recorded appropriately titled, “In The End.” This acoustic guitar driven number has a more Cinderella vibe, with those raspy rock vocals, but features some very encouraging words. The 12-page booklet is glossy in true glam metal fashion with 4 pages dedicated to lyrics and then 6 pages to pictures and a few credits. The cover artwork, depicted, is slightly different from the original.

The vinyl version comes with the lyric insert sheet and just the original 10 tracks. I have to say that it’s amazing to hear these songs in analog glory – particularly well-suited to this warmer, bass-enhanced media because the original mix has such a heavy treble emphasis. So for those of you who have come full circle to vinyl, or are just discovering it for the first time, you are in for a treat. Songs like “Eyes of Innocence” and “See No Evil” just really come to life in a new way. I don’t own, nor have I heard, the 1990 LP so I have nothing to compare in that regard. This edition comes in yellow (pictured here) and black versions. I would say the yellow may be sold out by now, but there should still be plenty of copies left of the black vinyl.

Roxx Productions

Release Date: 4/13/2019

CD Track List:

1.  Stranger (3:25)

2.  See No Evil (5:28)

3.  The Pain Inside of Me (6:35)

4.  Cry Out For Love (3:29)

5.  Tear Down the Walls (3:58)

6.  When the Reign Comes Down (5:17)

7.  Lies (4:57)

8.  Eyes of Innocence (3:55)

9.  Love Me (4:12)

10.  We Are Young, We are Strong (5:12)

Bonus Tracks (CD only)

11. 60 Second Radio Spot (1:02)

12. In The End (5:04)


Side A

Stranger (3:25)

See No Evil (5:28)

The Pain Inside of Me (6:35)

Cry Out For Love (3:29)

Tear Down the Walls (3:58)

Side B

When the Reign Comes Down (5:17)

Lies (4:57)

Eyes of Innocence (3:55)

Love Me (4:12)

We Are Young, We are Strong (5:12)

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