Tank

Power of the Hunter

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Although they had spent much of the previous year supporting a famously devastating debut, Filth Hounds of Hades, while touring in tandem with some of Britain's heaviest bands (Girlschool, Diamond Head and their inspirational rabbis Motörhead), Tank inexplicably delivered an astonishingly restrained and civilized sounding sophomore effort in Power of the Hunter, their second album of 1982. To be fair, the until-recently sharp-fanged power trio almost recalled their recklessly irrepressible former selves on the hard-hitting title track, the refreshingly frantic "Red Skull Rock," and the instrumental "T.A.N.K."; but it was really rather telling that so much of the their suddenly scarce allowances of high-speed adrenalin were squandered on an instrumental, with two songs shoved all the way to the back of the album. Meanwhile, repetitive opener "Walking Backwards over Glass" (whatever the hell that means) seriously overstayed its welcome, a cover of the Osmonds' "Crazy Horses" was curious to say the least, the ridiculously named, bass guitar heavy "Set Your Back on Fire" sounded like second-rate Kiss with a leering Gene Simmons at the helm, and the misleadingly named "Pure Hatred" was only salvaged by a stellar guitar solo from Pete Brabbs doing his best Ritchie Blackmore imitation. And it's not even that the members of Tank were suddenly rediscovering their late-'70s punk roots because, if tedious dross like "Biting and Scratching," "Some Came Running," or the seemingly chart-minded (but still dumb-as-nails) "Used Leather" were any indication, they actually seemed to have regressed even further back to some sort of mid-'70s pub rock! In any event, and in the end, Power of the Hunter's uneven sum total didn't quite qualify as an all out disaster -- there have been far more egregious sell-out operations in the long history of heavy metal -- but the band's sonic emasculation process was nevertheless drastic enough that Power of the Hunter sold half as many copies as their furious debut. Tank would manage to recover from their unfortunate sophomore slump with an unqualified return to heavy metal on 1983's This Means War, but not before being jolted to attention by Power of the Hunter's commercial failure, their record company's bankruptcy, and the loss of the both Pete and Mark Brabbs brothers in the painful process.

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