Steelwing - Lord of the wasteland 4/5

Reviewed: 8-1-10





Tracklist:

1. Lord of the wasteland
2. Headhunter
3. Roadkill (Or be killed)
4. Sentinel hill
5. The illusion
6. The nightwatcher
7. Under the scavenger sun
8. Point of singularity
9. Clash of the two tribes


I am so grateful that traditional metal is all the rave as of late. After having witnessed the enthusiasm of how once Metalcore-driven fans responded to 3 Inches of Blood's performance last week on the Rockstar Energy Music fest, I can see more than just a trend emerging. There is a true element of mettle being set in the minds and hearts of youth. After all, I received not one, but 2 complements from teenagers on my new Iron Maiden tour shirt this week at the Zoo. Thankfully, I was able to purchase the last existing U.S. tour shirt last week in Chicago!

Here in America we have White Wizzard and Holy Grail storming the gates, in Canada there is the Skull Fist sting; while in Sweden, Oppression, Gallows End, and the amazing Enforcer are mere diamonds in the rough cut, coruscating through.

This pleases me so much to discover that the sound I so adore is finally being appreciated and ultimately recognized. With 2 of my favorite all-time acts - Iron Maiden and Accept - poised to release new material very soon, the hackles on my back are spiked, and I am ready to strike.

Steelwing embody all that is great about classic Swedish metal, made in the past, forged in fire, and branded with the codified seal of approval. They exude the sound once epitomized by Metal Blade and Roadrunner Records in the 80s. If you do not have the Savage Grace remasters, yet, I highly recommend securing these, as they are the best packaging I have seen on a reissue in almost 5 years, even better than some Stormspell titles.

After the obligatory intro, the mind chopping meet party antics of "Headhunter" will curate your spine, and lead you right into the speedtrap and meanstreak of "Roadkill". The 'Roadkill (Or be killed)' EP was only released through a May issue of Sweden Rock Magazine, and it featured 2 Judas Priest covers.

"Sentinel hill" mixes the majesty of King Diamond with that classic NWOBHM prog. powerful screaming for vengeance bite. "The illusion" continues this feel with a true Metal Inquisitor ring of the carousing carillion, interlarded with hooks true to the sound of Oz, Bodine and Vengeance.

In the gloaming, the sounds of "The nightwatcher" permeate the lethal presence. Here fans of early Riot, Warrior and Damien will dig the juicy Angelwitch influences. The precious acoustic outro has me thinking of Hades and counting my blessings for Toxik.

Vocalist Riley stretches his chops with the opening scream on "Under scavenger sun". He seems determined to tame a land over run by the noble savage. "Point of singularity" echoes the Anvil Chorus, Oliver Magnum, and Anacrusis vibe. Anvil Chorus just released a new CD, and Anacrusis recently re-recorded the songs from their first 2 really rare CDs.

This persistent CD concludes with another epic achievement in "Clash of the two tribes". Bands like Titanic, Overlorde, Gorgon's Eyes, Apocrypha, and the under appreciated Wolfs Moon all shine in crimson glory, even if overall there seems to be an all encompassing quest for fire.

In the midst of a deluge of acts with "steel" in their name, these Swedes truly ride on the wings of eternal glory.



MICHAEL




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