To keep fighting despite difficult odds can be hard for the everyday person, but even harder for those involved in the military. Enter the Regina, Saskatchewan- based rock band Arcana Kings as they sing for the troops in their new single, “Soldier On”. Check it out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALBd2Nz-VPE
The song’s opening is heralded with an impressive use of bagpipes by lead vocalist John McCuaig before the electric guitar kicks in. By the song’s first verse, the electric guitar takes over and adds a toughness that matches the gruffness of McCuaig’s vocals. Before the chorus kicks in, this verse and the next two discuss the hardships that the soldiers endure as they fight for freedom.
“We say goodbye to our brothers and our sisters
As we march in a far away land
The only way is to head into the fire
We fight for freedom when we make our stand”
Of course, the song’s impact is stronger once you learn that the song was based on the actual lived experiences of soldiers. The song was written in partnership with Canadian force members involved with the Soldier On program, a non-profit organization.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/4SVLCrpCGknZg0h5vUTu3K?si=8Buay4UtTh2CYlpAledIYw&nd=1
The band explains, “We reached out and got connected with Joe Kiraly at Soldier On. He really took to the idea and organized a creative writing program to help create lyrics for the project. Four forces members put pen to paper and spilled their stories of triumphs and challenges of everyday service life and intense combat duty. What emerged was a glimpse into the mind of the modern soldier, the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly.”
After the chorus, the song’s production kicks up a notch through vocalist Allan Morrison as his booming vocals give the next two verses a heavy metal edge to enhance the emotional impact. Morrison’s vocals then shadow McCuaig’s as he takes over a verse before the chorus comes in one last time.
Arcana Kings formed in 2015 and have been influenced by bands like The Foo Fighters and AC/DC. Their most single, “Here We Go”, became an anthem for Canadian and American sports teams including the CFL, NHL, NFL, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Their first album, Lions As Ravens, was released in 2019 to critical acclaim, with The MetaMag calling it “a masterclass in progressive arena rock.” In March 2023, the band celebrated a huge milestone – their 100th Las Vegas show. The Arcana Kings have been a favorite attraction in Las Vegas since their first run in 2016. “Soldier On” is their first single of 2023.