No Remorse No Retreat - To Glory We Ride
Iron Age Records
Heavy Metal
11 songs (45'18")
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Alex

Finding information on the members of No Remorse No Retreat proved to be downright impossible. One source has them hailing from UK, but some insider rumors have them based in Kyoto, Japan, which only adds to the mystique, not to mention a rather strange moniker, created as a derivation from No Remorse, originally chosen, but unfortunately for the band already taken by others.

Air of secrecy and charisma hovering over the band like a thick cloud, the songs on their debut To Glory We Ride hold little intrigue. Early 80s proto-NWOBHM, mixed with the unstoppable desire to rock groove a la Motorhead and war-battle inspired lyrics is a pretty cool concept. Straightforward, in your face, catchy delivery is fine too. However, the riffs on To Glory We Ride are so basic, you could consider their 2 or 3-chord structure borderline primitive. Surely, that must have been the intention, but the end result settles somewhere between amusing and lame, depending on your personal point of view. In no way I am saying that every album has to be a mountain of progressive riffs, but all cuts on the album proceed in the same tempo and the same structure. It could, again, bring a smile to your face or, alternatively, bore you to tears. My bold prediction – the camps could be evenly split.

The lyrics, and even song titles, do not escape the repetitiveness. Warriors Call is promptly followed by Warrior Queen. The opener Victory or Valhalla chorus repeats the song title endlessly and, I swear, after 3 or 5 of those refrains it does sound more like “freight train to Valhalla” to my ears than anything else. Considering that some of us can be clueless, the band likes to give hints, with special effects reflecting on song titles. Hammer of Thor has thunderclaps and We Are the Werewolves has … you guessed it … howling. Pride takes aim at the Celtic angle, bagpipe infused and all, but demonstrates little in terms of development. Furthermore, even a small modicum of variation is killed as the album closes with rather useless instrumental version of Pride, which is pretty much the once heard original minus the vocals. Even track length is exactly the same, down to a second.

I am far from hating To Glory We Ride, but I yearn for anything differentiating one track from another. Guitars have a lot of grit and crunch in them, and the chorus hook line in the title track is very catchy. Solos, an absolute must element in just about every song, are very cool too, my favorites being Hail the New Sunrise, Invade and Hammer of Thor. Acoustic opening and flamenco touches in the middle of Warrior Queen help the track to stand out as well.

The Iron Age Records digipack is absolutely awesome and every band-related graphic I have seen thus far is simply outstanding. Thus, I can assume, that this UK label is doing all it can to put No Remorse No Retreat name out there. With me not giving Iron Age Records bands very favorable reviews, I doubt I have done their sincere efforts many favors.

Killing Songs :
To Glory We Ride
Alex quoted 58 / 100
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