Last Decade much better than this decade Dead Century re-mas
The Online Cowboy | Minneapolis, MN | 10/15/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Remember that wonderful program that used to be on MTV back when they actually played videos called The Headbangers Ball? I and my friends used to love that show because it was the only time of the week when we could not only look forward to our favorite bands at the time but it was also a pretty good program to discover new music as well. Each of us really enjoyed "discovering " a new band. And we each made a real big deal about it when one of us found one. Warrior Soul was one of those bands.
It was not a real glamorous moment. Sitting on the couch on a Saturday night after working some late night high school job at Target when with no advance warning, the ringing sonic anthem that is "We Cry Out" came through the television. I just sat there, listening, wishing I could be cranking this through the stereo instead of the mono speakers of the t.v. And what a video, it was SO cool. Never had I seen a video that was this dark and edgy in and around this time of primarily glam band familiarity. It made you feel were in some New York wasteland and yet it was made to be taken seriously and you did. After it was over my next thought was "I hope none of the other guys are watching this because I wanted to be the one to "claim" Warrior Soul.
As it turned out none of them did. The next day I picked up Last Decade Dead Century played it non-stop for however how long, and of course all my friends loved it as well and they got their own copies later that week. Last Decade was a major turning point for all of us in our musical growth at the time. This was the real deal. Kory if anything seemed completely legit and incredibly intelligent. We weren't used to learning about our social and political environments in our Rock N' Roll. I suppose the last political album I was exposed to prior to Last Decade was Metallica's And Justice For All..., but Last Decade seemed a bit more real. Maybe it was because they weren't yet big name rock stars. Or maybe it was because Last Decade made you feel like you were hearing the reports from the front lines of hard times in real time. It also drugged us on "Tripping On Ecstacy" and dragged you through the darkest corners and seedy hang outs of "Downtown". I remember our girlfriends being rather scared of this group. We could never play "Four More Years" all the way through before someone would freak out. I will admit, it is quite spooky and not exactly the one track I enjoyed listening to alone. The album comes to wonderful one, two, three, punch of "Superpower Dreamland", "Charlie's Out Of Prison" and "Blown Away", with "In Conclusion" being up their with the best when it comes to a song that completely sums up what you the listener just soaked in for the past forty-five minutes.
So I was astounded to find out just recently that the Geffen era Warrior Soul catalog was re-released last year (06). It had been quite a long time since I kept any tabs on the band and what Kory had been up to, so I checked out the old website, only to be dircted to the newer and much better site. I was sorry to hear about the senseless tragedy that involved Mark Evans but was very happy to see that not only has Kory been busy with a new group called Dirty Rig but was actually touring as Warrior Soul in a new incarnate of the band. And then of course, Kory's new label Escapi Music in what looks like a purchase from Geffen of Warrior Soul's repertoire, re-mastered and re-released the catalog with live tracks added to each disc.
Now I could be wrong, maybe Kory worked out some deal many years ago with Geffen on artistic control of his music and at some point Geffen may have just said "Okay, we did what we could with this, here you go" or something a lot more complicated than that to be sure. Either way, the irresponsible mess that is the re-mastered editions of the finest of Warrior Soul and those being Last Decade Dead Century, drugs, god and the new republic and Salutations From The Ghetto Nation are at best an embarrassment to an individual named Steve Kadison and at its worst a total dis-service to the fans of Warrior Soul. Blame can also be shared with Escapi Music, who decided to use copy protected compact discs for these editions. Be aware that of the three new re-masters I purchased, only Salutations worked in my car, and it didn't even work that well, it kept making these insidious snapping noises as it spun in the player. If you have a Macintosh forget about trying to play Last Decade on your computer because it won't work, but the other two did along with being able to play in my laptop PC. It did however make some really scary sounds while inside the computer that did not make me feel too safe about keeping it in there for very long. I tell you these copy protected cd's are the next best thing to a defective product being sold as something that works. And now all three of these newly re-mastered discs have been made into interesting conversation pieces as beverage coasters.
With that said however, you wouldn't want to upload or play the newly re-mastered Last Decade on your ipod anyways. It sounds terrible! All three of the previously mentioned releases do play on my regular stereo cd player and this is where I had my chance to test drive the quality of the redux. Of the three, Last Decade was the least affected by the new process. The original was recorded and mixed rather low to begin with, so their wasn't much more volume to pull out of these masters to begin with. Still, the sound that was pulled out for "more emphasis" is quite thin, the dense reverberating sound that was captured best on the original Geffen release was sorely compromised in favor of the re-mastered versions new motto of "Let's just make them louder".
The live tracks tacked on at the end of the disc add further insult to the buying fans earache. Only unless you are listening to these live tracks through an analog cordless phone will you realize that you would be better off listening to an audience recording of The Beatles playing the Cavern Club in 1962.
In Conclusion: I hope this review of the "new" Last Decade Dead Century helps out in your decision of whether of not to buy. I did, and I regretted it. I think the original 1990 release is far superior to the 2006 re-master. You however, may need to discover for yourself, and that's all cool, just do so with what I discussed in mind and remember that these COPY PROTECTED compact discs MAY not work on your computer, car stereo or BOTH!
King Arthur | Southampton, PA USA | 01/16/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When I played this, I couldn't believe how loud and screechy it was. How can they say it's remastered? Do what I just did a few minutes ago, I bought a used copy of this CD from 1990 here on Amazon for around $5.00."
Leave The Mastering To The Pros
Jason | 03/27/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I actually picked this CD up a year or more ago, and after relistening to the horrible mess made of Lullaby, it's no wonder why I had forgotten about it.
All the power and feeling of one of my favorite ballads was wiped out by someone who thinks using hard limiting coupled with lots of clipping makes great music.
Many people, self included, usually think about guitarists when the subject of metal comes up. However, when I first heard Warrior Soul, it was the drum work that caught my attention. Unlike most metal of the time, Warrior Soul's drum tracks had a raw powerful sound. This remaster turned great drum work to mush.
I have a copy of this on vinyl and when I get around to buying a new turntable, I'm going to make my own CD transfer from the LP. Incidentally, My LP doesn't have "Four More Years" on it. In it's place is a song called "One Minute Year.""
Find This Album!!!!
Ken Pierce | Brooklyn,, NY USA | 09/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A politician, musician, prophet, genius, and raving madman. All of these being parts that make up the sum of Kory Clarke lead singer of the 90's act Warrior Soul. This 90's band was far different from the "Seattle" era bands and fell far away from the Metal happenings the remaining 80's were tossing our way and yet despite the overall originality, only a choice few paid attention. Warrior Soul was a New York band and they spoke of life, injustice, and angst long before the likes of groups like Korn or Otep decided to mix those messages with their music. Socially relevant and somewhat prophetic, the words of Clarke rang the bell of truth for any who heard him. I think that the shifting in musical styles at the time caused Warrior Soul to be overlooked by people who would have loved them having been given the chance. The band featured Kory Clarke (vocals), Pete McClanahan (bass), Paul Ferguson (drums) and John Ricco (guitars) and lucky for us Escapi Music has chosen to remaster the five releases by the band in remastered and expanded editions. On their debut "Last Decade, Dead Century" the messages Clarke has for society are lined out from the opener "I See The Ruins" to the politically charged "Superpower Dreamland". Laments to the unpopular come forth in "The Losers", while my personal favorites "We Cry Out" & "Trippin' On Ecstacy" receive new life and in your face effect. "Downtown" speaks of life as Kory lived it while "Lullaby" is one of the most solemn ballads I had ever heard. A moment of soap boxing preaching is delivered during "Four More Years" which in a distorted and eerie voice, a cryptic view of the goings on in society is spoken about. I was proud to have been a fan from the release that this album originally saw and it received regular rotation on a friends college radio show. Now is the time to remember and relive this band, and for the new listener well you can simply pay attention. This is a must have for people who want relevant subject matter and deep lyrical content to their music.
The remastered edition of "LDDC" includes three bonus live tracks which are not professional board recordings and seem more audience bootleg. However, there is some inherent charm in this as you hear them from the direct listener perspective and while a tad low end you are able to relive the band in the live sense. It amounts to something in my opinion.
In today's music world of 2006 Clarke is a member of Dirty Rig, whose debut CD will also be available on Escapi Music.