Holy Soldier does things different. They do things that had never been done before.....
Holy Soldier was formed 1985 by founding members’ guitarist Jamie Cramer, bassist Andy Robbins and then singer Robbie Wolfe. The band went through several member changes during its early incarnations, eventually recruiting drummer Terry “The Animal” Russell in 1985 and guitarist Michael Cutting in 1986 and eventually finalizing the line-up with the addition of vocalist Steven Patrick in 1988.
Holy Soldier rigorously performed in and around the infamous Hollywood Sunset Strip during the peak of the Strip’s heyday in the late 1980’s, gaining a ravenous following. Hotspots included The Whiskey a Go-go, The Roxy, The Waters Club, Chuck Landis Country Club and of course Gazzaries. The band shared the stage with many famous and not yet famous artists, including Lion (Doug Aldrich/Whitesnake), Nirvana, and New Hawk (members of The Bullet Boys) to name a few.
It was not uncommon to see Holy Soldier listed to perform at the legendary Gazzaries on a Friday night and catch the up and coming band Guns n’ Roses or Warrant listed for a Saturday night. Holy Soldier achieved “Double Sell Out” status while headlining at Gazzaries (two consecutive nights of sold out shows, Friday and Saturday). This was an accomplishment that, at the time, was only shared with two other bands: Van Halen and Warrant.
While the local Los Angeles rock scene was heating up for Holy Soldier, they also began to get national and International attention, appearing in several Rock magazines and various overseas publications, which also lead to an invitation to perform several dates in Japan.
Holy Soldier was the first Christian metal band in history to be signed to a major record label and also the first Metal band to be signed by a major Christian record label, Word/Myrrh records. Upon signing a double record deals in 1989, the band went into seclusion for 6 weeks with their producer David Zaffiro to write what would become their self-titled debut record “Holy Soldier”, which was released in 1990. Now upon the world stage, the band filmed their first full-blown video production for the single “See No Evil”, which was on heavy rotation on MTV’s Headbangers Ball show.
The band hit the road in support of their new release and mounted a massive tour though the U.S. and Canada. Some highlights of the tour included a performance in front of thousands of fans at The Cornerstone Festival and also a memorable show at the Cat Club in New York city, sharing the stage with then label mates Extreme, with the up and coming Seattle band Alice In Chains, opening the show.
Their self-titled release Charted #7 on Billboard Magazine's CCM sales charts.
Released in 1990, Holy Soldier at that time was the highest selling debut release on Word Records in 7 years. Their radio single “Stranger,” stayed in the #1 slot for 12 consecutive weeks (CCM Update & PRR). The power ballad “Eyes of Innocence” charted highly on South American Radio stations.
The following year in 1991, Holy Soldier received two awards at The Gospel Music Association Dove Awards ceremony (the gospel equivalent
to the Grammys). They were awarded Metal/Hard Rock Album of the Year / 1991, and Metal/Hard Rock Recorded Song of the Year for
“Stranger” / 1991. They were also nominated for Metal/Hard Rock Recorded Song of the Year for “See No Evil” / 1991.
In 1992 Holy Soldier began recording their sophomore release “Last Train” again with producer David Zaffiro. Michael Cutting took a brief hiatus from the band and guitarist Scott Soderstrom filled in. Last Train Charted #10 on Billboard Magazine's CCM sales charts that year and the title track “Last Train” received Superior Creativity Award from The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) for the song Last Train / 1991. The band was once again nominated for Dove awards for Metal/Hard Rock Recorded Song of the Year for “ Last Train” / 1993, and also nominated for Metal Recorded Song of the Year for “Dead End Drive” / 1994. The radio single "Virtue & Vice" charted #1 on the rock radio charts (CCM Update & PRR).
The radio single Last Train, charted #12 on the rock radio charts (CCM Update & PRR).
This release took the group on tour in six countries including over 50 dates in the U.S.
In 1994, with the return of guitarist Michael Cutting and the departure of original guitarist Jamie Cramer as well as vocalist Steven Patrick, the band continued forward without loosing stride. After recruiting Seattle singer Eric Wayne, who incidentally filled in for Stephen Patrick on a few select dates during the first U.S. tour the band headed right into writing and pre-production for their third studio release Promise Man. As the band had never wanted to conform to any particular formula or musical style, the 1995 release Promise Man showed a grittier blues side of the band that was a natural progression for the group, who was never afraid to explore musically.
The highly anticipated Promise Man release was greeted with mixed emotions, as the band introduced their new singer and a sound that did not conform to the “norm” or the expected “Holy Soldier sound”. The band however, did not see it that way- nor did CCM/Rock Radio, the fans, or The Gospel Music Association. The singles “Promise Man”, “My World” and “Rust” all charted #1 on the rock radio charts.
“My World” was featured on the compilation CD Release “Seltzer” ForeFront/EMI) / 1996.
The band’s remake of the classic 70’s tune “Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus” by Christian Rock pioneer Larry Norman was featured on the "One Way - The Songs of Larry Norman" release (ForeFront/EMI) / 1995.
Again, the band received high honors for their new release at the 1996 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards Ceremony, receiving Metal/Hard Rock Album of the Year / 1996 and Metal/Hard Rock Recorded Song of the Year “Promise Man” / 1996.
Holy Soldier was one of the first Christian rock artists (and very few to this day) to receive these top honors in the same categories twice.
Holy Soldier took the new line-up (Michael Cutting, Andy Robbins, Scott Soderstrom, Eric Wayne and touring drummer Jason Martin), on the road to support the Promise Man release, with dates that included the U.S., Mexico and Germany.
In keeping with their philosophy of always breaking new ground, Holy Soldier released their fourth recording “Encore” in 1997, which was a special live performance recorded in Nashville TN, which was very unique in many ways. Never done before, the band released a Live/Greatest Hits CD, which included both the singers of the band. Encore! featured current H5 vocalist Eric Wayne and former vocalist Steven Patrick together performing the bands most memorable and chart topping tunes. The band collaborated and created special arrangements of the songs to feature both singers performing the songs together. AS an added bonus, the band released three studio tracks. Two brand new original songs; “Whisper” featuring Eric Wayne on vocals and “In The End” sung by Patrick.
The third studio track was a special remake of the bands Int’l hit “Eyes of Innocence”, which featured a new arrangement as well as a very special lead vocal performance by none other than the legendary singer/actor/teen idol Pat Boone.
Also unique is that the disc was co-produced by Michael Cutting and the disc was released on Spaceport Records, founded by bassist Andy Robbins.
In 2004, Holy Soldier reunited with the original line-up of Cutting, Cramer, Patrick, Robbins and Russell for a special reunion show “Up from the Ashes” in Los Angeles CA.
The band came together again in 2005 to film a performance, which would be included in the DVD, release Holy Soldier: Live, Rare and Raw. The live show featured the original line-up (less Patrick) and featured special vocalist Donny Russell younger brother of Terry Russell.
The DVD also includes some very special and candid footage of Holy Soldier writing and recording the bands ground breaking self-titled debut release.
Special thanks to the official website of Holy Soldier
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See No Evil
First official video from Holy Soldier's 1990 debut self titled release Holy Soldier on A&M / Word/Myrrh records. Video was on rotation on the classic MTV program Headbangers Ball.
Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus
Official video for the 1995 (ForeFront/EMI) release: "One Way-The Songs of LarryNorman". Holy Soldier remake of the classic song Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus.
Gates of Babylon
Holy Soldier performing the Rainbow classic "Gates of Babylon" for the opening scene sequence for the 1996 feature film "Raging Angels"