Released: 2016, Heaven and Hell Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Heaven and Hell Records have dug up a number of ancient heavy metal relics and reissued these lost gems with exclusive bonus material, archival photos and extensive liner notes. Not such is the case for the X-Caliber reissue of their lone recorded output "WARRIORS OF THE NIGHT". After speaking with Heaven and Hell Records label owner Jeremy Golden the problem was that there just wasn't an abundance of photos and bonus material to choose from and it was difficult establishing contact with the band members that made up X-Caliber way back when to include their participation. So there you have it in case you were wondering.
Now there is some cool artwork and lyrics and a few photos but the real focus on this reissue is dusting off the "WARRIORS OF THE NIGHT" album from 1986. Re-mastering was handled by Jamie King at the Basement Studio in Winston, North Carolina who does a fine job of maintaining the original feel of the original. "Runaway" is the album's first track and is somewhat comparable to eighties Dokken. The album's title track is next and finds X-Caliber living up to the sword and sorcery ethos that was so prevalent in eighties metal. The third track "The Sword" follows suit and by this point you're probably gonna be hooked on this band. This song reminds me a bit of Medieval Steel in it's delivery. "Tell Me Why" on the other hand is a silly hard rockin' song about chasing pussy that these guys probably wrote during their senior year of high school. It's OK to get up and go get a beer and stretch a little bit during this song, you're not missing anything.
"Rock's Alive" gets back to kicking ass with it's mid-tempo, guitar-shredding, metal assault. "Don't Say Goodbye" is another balladesque song that only exists to wet panties. Heavy Metal bands today don't invest very much effort in this lost art form and that's probably a good thing because ballads are stupid. "Told You Not To Run" is a strong metal tune built around pounding drums, wailing banshee vocals and some mean riffs. This is probably the most progressive number from a band that generally delivers simple "meat and potatoes" heavy metal. The album comes to a close with the acoustic ballad "Someday". Someday I might appreciate acoustic ballads but not today.
All in all, this has been an enjoyable listen. I'm curious what the band members of X-Caliber are up to now? Are they still metal? Do they still play? Guess we'll never know. I recommend this release to all serious Heavy Metal CD collectors. You need this in your collection.