Holy Soldier

Holy Soldier

BandChristianRock

Christian Hard Rock pioneers Holy Soldier have been igniting stages since 1985 in different carnations and line ups. The band has been the recipient of four Dove Awards, Dozens of top 10 radio singles, and has had two top 10 releases on the Billboard album standings.

Biography

Holy Soldier is a band that has secured their position as one of the most important and identifiable bands Christian rock & roll history. The group, which formed in Los Angeles in 1985, distilled so much of the music that had come before them and has exerted a decisive influence on so much that has come after. Very few artist and musicians in their genre have achieved that stature, and stand proudly among them. Every album the group released through the early Nineties - from Holy Soldier in 1990 to Promise Man in 1995 -- is essential not only to gain an understanding of the music of that era, but to an understanding of the era itself. Through their intense interest in hard rock, classic rock, and the blues, Holy Soldier connected a young audience to music that was neither anticipated nor acceptable with the narrow-minded - “middle America” -church going families this young audience came from. What is remarkable is that Holy Soldier’s sound has never been classified as overtly Contemporary Christian, but they would still become legendary in that marketplace. Soon, of course, Holy Soldier had become somewhat controversial for their lyrics, their image and even for the secular venues in which they chose to perform, as they became synonymous with scrutiny from certain religious leaders and religious groups of that era.

For this reason, as the eighties drained into the Nineties, Holy Soldier went on a creative run that rivals any in Hard Rock music. Holy Soldier routinely turns up on lists of the greatest Christian Hard and Metal albums of all time, and deservedly so. In support of the release, band launched a tour that reached over 60 cities across the US, Japan and Canada. The album went on to sweep the Hard Rock award categories at the 1991 Dove Awards taking home Hard Rock Album and Hard Rock Recorded Song of the year. Before the band went to work on Last Train, guitarist Michael Cutting departed for a short period and was replaced by Scott Soderstrom- a guitarist, whose melodic flair counterbalanced guitarist Jamie Cramer’s insistent, irreducible rhythmic drive, adding a different element to the band's sound, and opened new musical directions.

In January of 1992, "Last Train" was released. The album immediately went up Billboards CCM sales chart to #10. The title track "Last Train," went up the CCM rock charts to #2 and received an award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International for "Superior Creativity in Words and Music." Once again, Holy Soldier hit the road embarking on a 50 city nationwide tour and tours in Europe, Canada, Central America and Mexico.

By 1993, Holy Soldier was now an indomitable force on the music scene, and they have continued to be to this day. At this period Jamie Cramer departed and guitarist Michael Cutting re-entered, adding another key element to the musical evolution of Holy Soldier.

In 1995, the band's album, Promise Man, had to rise to the challenge of the dominating the alternative scene. The title track Promise Man unveiled energy and attitude the band had defined a decade earlier. Holy Soldier even swung with the sinuous grooves of the delta blues on the track Mumbo Jumbo. The album was also reviewed as one of the best of that decade- proven in the fact that it too swept the Dove Awards in 1996 taking home Hard Rock Album and Hard Rock Recorded Song of the year. More significantly, though, Holy Soldier has set a standard for live performance during their time. That is an achievement completely in accord with the band's history.

Holy Soldier used their release Encore (1997) to celebrate their classic repertoire, by releasing live versions of their greatest hits. As the final album of their career, Encore finds the band at its rawest and most rhythmically charged, a reflection of elements that attracted their audience and their industry in the first place- that being their live show. The flame was lit again with a full reunion nine years later, and it's burning still.

Since 2005, the band has been performing live again to ecstatic response. Vocalist Don Russell, brother to Holy Soldier’s drummer Terry “the Animal” Russell, joined Holy Soldier in August of 2005, replacing Steven Patrick and Holy Soldier turned what could have been a setback in their reunion plans into a rejuvenating rush of new energy. Holy Soldier’s live success during this new period is not a matter world tours and box-office breakthroughs, though the band has enjoyed plenty of both. It's about demonstrating a vital, ongoing commitment to the idea that performing and promoting their spiritual message is what keeps a band truly alive. But, for all that, Holy Soldier is best understood as musicians, and their own acceptance of that fact is what has enabled them to carry on so well for so long. Don Russell’s incredible vocal abilities tied into his enthusiastic performances drive home the band’s lyrics and turn them into messages. Michael Cutting and Jamie Cramer’s guitar

Discography

Holy Soldier (A&M Records / Word Records - 1990)
Last Train (Word Records - 1992)
Promise Man (Forefront / EMI - 1995)
Encore (Spaceport Records - 1997)

Set List

1. Instrumental
2. See No Evil 5:30
3. Lies 5:00
4. Promise Man 4:40
5. Crazy 4:45
6. Love is on the Way 5:00
7. When the Reign Comes Down 5:30
8. Rust 5:45
9. Eyes of Innocence 4:00
10. Gimme Shelter 4:20
11. Last Train 4:34
12. Tear Down the Walls 4:00

Encore:

Gates of Babylon 6:45
Stranger 4:35