But at least upon the release of their 1983 debut mini-album, one can confidently assert that Warlord consisted of vocalist Jack Rucker, guitarist/bassist Bill Tsamis, keyboardist Diane Arens, and founder and ex-Russian Roulette drummer Mark Zonder. Like contemporaries Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, and the aforementioned Armored Saint, Warlord were heavily influenced by the European metal aesthetic, and especially the then-prevalent New Wave of British Heavy Metal, for their epic approach to songwriting. This mission/vision carried through to their extensively titled follow-up, 1984's And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun, which, in reality, was supposed to be a "live" soundtrack accompanying a complete (if severely underfinanced) band concert.
But other than introducing new vocalist Rick Cunningham and full-time bass player Dave Watry, this undertaking did little to advance the group's cause -- although it did became quite the collector's item in decades to come. The persistent Warlord did manage to patch a full album's worth of studio material into 1986's Thy Kingdom Come LP, but decided to go their separate ways shortly thereafter, with the gifted Mark Zonder soon resurfacing in Fates Warning. The Best of Warlord collection was released in 1993, and almost a decade later, original members Zonder and Tsamis teamed up with Hammerfall vocalist Joacim Cans (by all accounts a very enthusiastic disciple) for a surprising comeback album entitled Rising Out of the Ashes. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia