Absolute Steel - Womanizer 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-3-06


1. High heels and fishnet stockings
2. Beerrun
3. Kick
4. Rough love (Tender heart)
5. Deeper
6. Juicy Lucy
7. Too slow above
8. Deliverance
9. Open suite

This is the 2nd CD by this Norwegian metal outfit. This is quite promising coming from a country renown for choking us with black metal bile. I find it to be rather refreshing to see bands like Gaia Epicus and Absolute Steel swinging the axe in another direction. I have not heard Absolute Steel's debut the 'The fair bitch project', as of yet; but after playing this CD, I sure would like to obtain a copy of it soon. The version I have is the reissue now on Black Lotus Records, taken from their 2004 independent release. This CD is very short clocking in at under 41 minutes. Much to my dismay, this CD is just shy of an EP length, and when you consider that the last 2 songs are just instrumentals; you really become frustrated. There is an advantage to this though; the laconic overtunes allow for one to play the CD several times through, in order to appreciate it better.

Many critics have dismissed this band as being too hard rock and not true mettle. This is just not the case. Absolute Steel do steal heavily from the "Hair bands" of the 80s, both when it comes to lyrical content and overall riffing; but this is not necessarily a bad thing. They sound like classic Skid Row mixed with Megadeth while channeling the humour of Tankard and the and mimicking guitar talent of Craig Goldy or Marty Friedman.

The first song "High heels and fishnet stockings" is just killer reminding me how much I miss the gloriously self-indulgent 80s. The Poison meets Kiss lyrics don't corroborate my souls growth; but they do make me rattle my dog-damned head, with all the Mustaine musings. The song starts off with a slow acoustic intro and then a wailing shriek which sounds like Toby from Edguy dropped by for some mishap and mayhem, and then bellowed into the microphone. Overall the vocalist reminds me of a really drunken Toby mingled with the horrible singer from U.K.'s The Darkness. The next track "Beerrun" is straightforward metal for metal's sake. The song commences with the opening of a can of beer and immediately the music just kicks into gear with simple choruses and classic metal guitar shredding. This is just classic party music with infectious melodies and convivial harmonies. Next up is "Kick" another 80s influenced party theme with expletives in the chorus and lyrics which could have been written by Twisted Sister. There is one slow chugging breakdown beat in the middle; but this quickly fades and the shredding begins again. Next up is "Rough love (Tender heart)" which slows down a bit with subtle keyboards and classic riffage all the while imploring clemency from the listener for a coutesan who provides bondage with pleasure. "22 acacia avenue", "Mistress of pain" or "Bondage" by Destructor this is not!

Moving on, "Deeper" has some very tongue in cheek ravings which does not require a Dr. Ruth to render as being sybaritic. There are some cool guitars parts; but overall, this does not break too much ground. Then there's the epic ballad "Juicy Lucy" which in its own abject, somber way is rather a heartfelt ballad, and I really dig it, even "if I've never had a girl like Juicy Lucy", and who is Heather Brooke, anyway? Finally, the last song with lyrics is "Too slow above" and this is fairly decent; especially if you are reminded of your average fluff chick or monster skank. Obviously this band is not concerned about a woman's lack of intelligence since they claim to be "Womanizers". Thankfully the last 2 instrumental tracks shred with neo-classical euphony bringing this terse metal output to an end until you decide to play it again, which I highly recommend.

Overall, this may not really be power metal; but it's a far cry from hard rock unless you utterly repudiate the 80s with bands like AC/DC, Twisted Sister, Kiss, Skid Row, W.A.S.P., Motley Crue, Poison, and their ilk.




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