Saturday, 23 September 2017

Weapon UK - The Rocker/Set The Stage Alight(2017) Review

Danny Hynes (Vocals)
Jeff Summers (Guitar)
Darren Lee (Drums)
Tony Forsythe (Bass)

1. The Rocker
2. Set The Stage Alight (2017)

So yes it has been awhile since the review was posted, but there are very few bands in the world that can being me out of health forced retirement and one of the most important to me is Weapon!

So let’s have a quick catch up and go back to 2014. They of course released the stunning album 'Rising from the Ashes’ this was followed by a brief UK tour. Towards the end of the year their drummer Ian Sweeting left and was replaced by Darren Lee (Ex Midnight Messiah).

The following year was another packed diary of live dates in the UK and an appearance at the Matarock festival in Barcelona, then another European tour taking in Holland, Germany and Belgium.
After the tour bassist PJ Phillips decided to leave the band.

In 2016 Angelwitch/Tytan bassist Kevin Riddles steps in to help the band out whilst they continued to search for a permanent replacement.

In August saw the re-release/repackaged '35 Anniversary Edition' of the 'Set The Stage Alight' album on Blood & Iron Records, which contains all the bands material from 1980/1 plus two live tracks from their appearance at The Headbangers-Open-Air Ball, Germany in 2005.

So at the beginning of this year a new bassist joined in the shape of the very talented Tony Forsythe, a name I knew well as he had worked with Gerry Laffy from Girl and had also played in a band with Rudi ‘The Boss’ Riviere from Sapphire.

After rehearsals they set off for a series of Swedish dates and not long afterwards entered the recording studio, which brings us right up to date.

The Rocker.
Cover versions can at times be a dangerous choice. On the one hand you have to capture the essence of the original and show total respect and at the same time you have to add your own sound and vision.
This version of The Rocker fits both those criteria; firstly they have bridged the original album version of 5 minutes and the single version of just 2 ½ minutes and created a fresh and crisp production of 3 minutes of aural perfection.

Set The Stage Alight.
This could also be considered a dangerous choice. Bands can often make the mistake of re-recording one of their own classic tracks and then manage to ruin the song’s legacy.
I confess I was a little reticent at hitting play; my original treasured vinyl copy still sits in my collection to this day and is interconnected with my love and respect for the band.
Any doubts were blown away from the intro onwards, the power of the original was not only respected but frankly updated to remind us that maturity does not mean watering down or destroying a legacy but re-nailing to the wall for all to see and hear.
Superb drumming and bass work power through the speakers, the guitar sound is alive and furious, the vocals are even, well produced and as soaring as the day the song was first conceived.

I have said this before and it still remains the case, Weapon are not a band who bask in former glories of the NWOBHM era and attempt to replicate a youthful sound, they are a band who never stood still or looked backwards, this is a relevant now to today’s rock and metal music scene as it has always been.

Let me put it this way; The Rocker is 44 years old, Set The Stage Alight (like the band) is 37 years old. Yet this release has the punch of a fresh faced teen heavy metal band! "

Rating: 10/10

The tracks will be digitally released on Thursday, 28th September 2017.
Available through CD Baby, ITunes, Amazon.
For more information go to: