SPARTAN WARRIOR – Spartan Warrior [Rerelease]

SPARTAN WARRIOR - Spartan Warrior [Rerelease]
  • 7.5/10
    SPARTAN WARRIOR - Spartan Warrior [Rerelease] - 7.5/10


Metal Mind Records
Release date: July 27, 2009

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As the NWOBHM movement, which reigned since the dawn of the 70s in the English and shaping worldwide Metal scene, progressed through the mid-80s, many local English bands found their careers running in a crash course to the toilet. While uprising “giants to be”, some would say survivors of a scene that time took its life every passing year, as Iron Maiden and Saxon, for that matter, remained and became the Metal Gods of today. In present days, when there is an ongoing phenomenon of comeback bands in various Metal subgenres, it seems that the NWOBHM has some loose ends that reappear in the Metal world. Those comeback acts of the old British scene like Satan and the feature of this review, Spartan Warrior, have shown that even if they weren’t the big promise of their time, their music can and will continue on in the second millennia.

Metal Mind Records, again, brought out a marker, even if not an influential one, in the image of Spartan Warrior. Their second album, Spartan Warrior, in terms of today’s Metal music, may be reviewed as a “dry” release with all the progression that Metal has undergone this past twenty years since that same album was released in 1984. However, if one would review this one with a bit of proportion, it will be recognized that Spartan Warrior, however releasing a simple album that was the next thing close to the basic form of Metal, made something worth remembering. With the efforts on re-mastering this old work, Metal Mind Records gets to have all the credit as they served the Metal world with another Metal history lesson.

Going through the album, one will find that Spartan Warrior went through the same code of Metal that many bands of their age shared and formed their whole on its knees. Nevertheless, NWOBHM, in the eyes of a large quantity of bands back in those times, took a somewhat progressed form of 70s Hard Rock and became much more unique than British Punk that also quite influenced the crowds in England. Bands like Iron Maiden, Satan, Saxon, Praying Mantis and tons of others delivered and capitalized on NWOBHM and perfected themselves in order to be categorized as something that is still British yet innovative in its own way. Although Saxon, even nowadays, is a sort of a Traditional Heavy Metal/NWOBHM group, they still underwent slight changes in approach during their long lasting career. Today they try to come back more to their roots. In comparison to Spartan Warrior, that did not last long enough to be on par with Maiden or Saxon, it seems that they didn’t make enough effort on trying to breakthrough with releases that will leave their fans or new listeners with their mouths open. Their music has the old magic of NWOBHM that consists of the spirit of 70s Hard Rock, Classic Rock and Glam Rock. Nonetheless, with the power of NWOBHM they released two albums between 1983-1984 that are pretty similar, judging by the compositions and their attitudes.

The material presented on Spartan Warrior is exactly what every old fan of NWOBHM would expect, yet Spartan Warrior kept their line of music as close to the heritage of the movement. Of course it’s good to stay closer to your roots and foundation, however in their case that reality puts their material at a bit of a standstill. This situation reflected the true meaning of raging Heavy Metal, yet without a sense of excitement that was caused by the several unmoving beats and parts of the main riffs. The only moments that served this group right were the lead solos and melodic bass works. This sort of touch, even with the markers that elevated British Metal and endorsed it as the father of Metal, spiraled Spartan Warrior’s substance downward to become slightly lifeless on the brink of digging its own hole because it never really went anywhere. The thing is that Spartan Warrior has much in common with Saxon, which in that same year released the Crusader album, more so than with Maiden, and you probably know Saxon’s success story as it is one of the leading NWOBHM bands of today.

Spartan Warrior, aside from other troubles which they may have along the way, missed the call and opportunity to develop into something greater because they had great potential.

After their second album, the band did not stay long and went down a few years later. In 2006, to the surprise of whoever found out, they became active again and in the coming year they will be releasing their third album, Behind Closed Eyes, an album that will draw the attention of true NWOBHM fans and will probably capture great interest on what twenty (plus or minus) years have done to the old group that started at the peak of NWOBHM in 1980.

The highlights presented here show that with all the partial stiffness of Spartan Warrior there is something nice to remember here so take a listen to “Assassin” , “Son Of A Bitch”, “French Girls”, “Hanging On” and “Mercenary”.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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