|Published on december 10th, 2019 | by Anthony Martínez|
Few people know that Holy Soldier had a total of four vocalists, Robbie Brauns Wolf (1985 - 1988), Steven Patrick (1988 - 1994), Eric Wayne (1994 - 1997), Donny Russell (2005 - 2007), the latter being the younger brother of drummer Terry Russell.
Early Years with Robbie
Along with Robbie Brauns Wolf, the band recorded their first 3-song EP in 1986, Robbie was also the singer of the band Hero who performed at the Metal Mardi Grass a year later, however, the best was yet to come.
The memorable years with Steven Patrick
With the arrival of Steven Patrick, a second 5-song EP was recorded in 1988 and caught the attention of the local rock scene in Los Angeles. As Michael Cutting describes on his website about these years of the band:
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.
In 1990 the band recorded their first album of long duration "Holy Soldier", becoming a success after winning 3 dove awards, and being at the top of the popularity charts on Billboard, in addition to being considered as one of the best Christian metal albums of all time by HM magazine, and the best Christian rock debut álbum in history according to our list "Top 50 Christian Rock Debut Albums.
Steven was also on the second album of the band, Last Train, released in 1992, the success of this album took them on a tour of six countries as well as more than 50 cities in the U.S.
The Grunge era with Eric Wayne
In 1994 Steven would leave the band to start a solo career, that's when Eric Wayne came to Holy Soldier for the album Promise Man. The change of singer and musical style would create negative and positive comments, however, despite some strong criticism, the album gained wide acceptance by again topping the popularity charts with the songs Promise Man and My World, in addition to winning two dove awards.
It is worth mentioning that Eric had already sung with Holy Soldier in 1991 for a few days during which Steven had left the group, but he quickly rejoined.
In 1997 the band released their first live album and their last album "Encore", with the participation of their singer Eric Wayne and their former vocalist Steven Patrick.
The big try with Don Russell
In 2004 Holy Soldier met for a concert in Los Angeles, with Steven Patrick as singer. In 2005, Holy Soldier returned to the scene with a new singer named Don Russell, the younger brother of drummer Terry Russell. Don participated two years with Holy Soldier, he didn't record any songs in studio with the band, however, you can see some live videos on the DVD Live, Rare and Raw where there remains the only official record of Don with Holy Soldier.
Although Don did a great vocal job, the band didn't get the full support of his followers, who refuse to accept Holy Soldier with any singer other than Steven Patrick, apparently it's very difficult for Steven Patrick to agree to be part of the band again. Will we never have Holy Soldier again? Well, only God knows that.