Steel Raiser – Acciaio

Acciaio Cover

Steel Raiser – Acciaio
Iron Shield Records
Running Time: 42:53
Release date: 15/02/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

Through metal, a lot of strong bonds and friendships are formed. Often, it’s to the point where bands are formed. This is definitely the case with Italian Heavy Metal outfit Steel Raiser. They have unleashed their latest album “Acciaio” and the word translates to Steel from Italian. Coincidence? Given the sturdy material that this album offers, it’s far from that.

“Acciaio” gets off to a straight forward start with the tracks ‘The Fourth Seal (Intro)’ and ‘Demon Angel’. It’s well known that a great intro to an album can make a difference to how you enjoy the rest of the content. The atmospheric intro lures the listener in before they are treated to the musings of ‘Demon Angel’. First impressions? The production seems a tad quiet. If anything, it encourages the listener to crank up the volume to maximum power. Let’s be honest, that is the only way to experience those finger blistering solos and prevailing vocal work. They do say every cloud has a silver lining.

The style at first comes across as very old school Heavy Metal. Judas Priest comes to mind. That style is reinforced on the track ‘Heavy Metal Hero’. It’s a song that will undoubtedly go down as a classic in years to come. Particularly when the chorus swims around your head minutes, even hours after listening.

As you delve further into the album, some Power Metal influences can be heard. Particularly with the vocal work. Blind Guardian springs to mind when listening to the track ‘Rising Phoenix’. If you want a rough idea of what the love child of Rob Halford and Hansi Kürsch will sound like, then listen to the fantastic vocal work of Alfonso Giordano.

It’s quite rare to come across a song that makes you raise an eyebrow yet you can’t help but laugh. When it comes to “Acciaio”, there is a song called ‘Genghis Khan’ on the album. Songs about historical figures are usually fascinating to listen to as it encourages you to find out more about the person and how they made history. It also makes you wonder why the band decided to write about said figure. Anyway, going back to the song. When you start listening, you can hear Asian influences within the music alongside the Thrash elements. After listening to this track, you will be chiming “gong gong Genghis Khan” before you know it!

If ballads are your thing then “Acciaio” has a beautiful one. It’s entitled ‘Wherever’ and it tugs at the heartstrings. There are dramatic arrangements, passionate vocals and sweeping clashes on the drums, this ballad ticks all the boxes. The concluding track ‘Up The Fist’ helps you feel motivated and ready to go. More than apt. given that one of the lines is “Are you ready?”

It’s evident from the album that Steel Raiser are not a band to be messed with and “Acciaio” will ensure that their music is heard. Get the album, crank to the max and enjoy the ride!

TRACKLISTING:
01 The Fourth Seal (Intro)
02 Demon Angel
03 Heavy Metal Hero
04 The King Of The Night
05 Genghis Khan
06 Rising Phoenix
07 Highway Eagle
08 Wherever
09 Night Of The Duster
10 Spirits Of Vengeance
11 Man Of Rage
12 Up The Fist

SOCIAL MEDIA:
https://www.facebook.com/SteelRaiserOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/steelraiserofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/user/steelraiser/videos

 

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Powergame – Masquerade

Masquerade Cover

Powergame – Masquerade
Iron Shield Records
Running Time: 48:16
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham
6/10

It’s no secret that Germany is home to some household names in Heavy Metal, Doro, Scorpions and Accept to name a few. Could newcomers Powergame join this growing list of legends? Judging from their latest release “Masquerade” it shows the band have the potential to do so.

Powergame went through some major line-up changes before they released their first demo entitled “Raw Heavy Metal” in 2013. This was followed by their self-released record “Beast On The Attack” in 2015. “Masquerade” is the latest to hit shelves and there is clear evidence of energy and enthusiasm within their sound.

First impressions of “Masquerade”? There is no questioning the band’s talent, dedication and energy. There are Iron Maiden-esque vocals, sharp riffs and solos on the guitars and pounding rhythms from the bass and drums. These are the key ingredients of the band.

All these promising elements are evident on opening track ‘Legion Of The Dead’.

The production of the album is very crisp and well put together, it gives the album the vibe that these songs should be showcased in larger venues to huge crowds, you feel like you should be in a stadium. For instance, the track ‘Final Warning’ contains a marching rhythm, some air guitar worthy solos and riffs, not to mention those dominant vocals would sit well within a stadium setting.

Even though the production of the album gives the songs a certain stadium vibe, the content within each track, at the moment, is fairly average. As much as one tried to get into the album and give it a chance, it’s not attention grabbing enough, but at the same time, you are curious to see where their sound could go. Given the production which makes their material sound huge and dominant, imagine what their sound would be like after some fine tuning. Bearing in mind, it is only their second release so there is still plenty of room to grow.

“Masquerade does have its stand out tracks though. The chorus of ‘For Those Who Died’ is memorable, it’s one of the tracks you listen to and remember instantly when you hear it again. The guitar work and vocals are two key ingredients that help make this happen. ‘Baptized In Fire And Steel’ has a ‘Run To The Hills’ vibe about it with its rapid guitar work and mosh pit worthy beat. There is no doubt that this track will go down well in a live environment.

Overall, there is unquestionable talent, dedication and hard work where the band are concerned. With these elements, the band can go far. “Masquerade” might be an acquired taste from many fans of the modern metal community. For some it can be an album they can crank up to the max or one they simply have on in the background whilst carrying on with daily tasks. That’s the listener’s decision.

TRACKLIST:
01 Legion Of The Dead
02 Lucid Dreams
03 Puppets On A String
04 Powergame
05 Final Warning
06 The Chase Of The Falcon
07 For Those Who Died
08 Baptized In Fire And Steel
09 Masquerade
10 Ghost Town
11 Blackout (Scorpions Cover)

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/powergame.heavymetal
https://powergameheavy.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUabefg2eEMXOUMErW6ElCg

 

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Krull – The Black Coast

Krull The Black Coast Cover

Krull – The Black Coast
Iron Shield Records
Release date: 27/04/2018
Running Time: 42.32
Review by: Alun Jones
6/10

KRULL! Did you ever see the movie? It’s GREAT! On the ancient world of Krull, Prince Colwyn brings together a band of scoundrels to help him rescue Princess Lyssa from the clutches of the evil Beast, who threatens to conquer the planet. It’s a sci-fi fantasy adventure with a Cyclops, cool weapons, vile baddies, Tucker Jenkins and Lysette Anthony. I mean seriously, you need to see this film. How metal does it sound? Even the bad guys are called “Slayers”!

The band Krull occupy a musical space which is openly very inspired by fantasy, battles and all things sword and sorcery. And right from the off, it’s a whole lot of fun. The atmospheric intro “In the Woods” grabs the listener and plunges them into the ethereal world that Krull have concocted, and it’s pretty much full on from there.

Pace-wise, “The Black Coast” is like riding shotgun in a barbarian’s chariot, charging an army of Orcs. Stand out tracks for me included “By Steel” and “The King and the Sword”, but the whole album is energetic traditional metal. If you’re a fan of Priest, Maiden and the mighty Manowar you’ll find something to enjoy here. Only midway track “Valhalla” slows things down a little, otherwise it’s a fast and brutal campaign.

So why only 6 out of 10? Well there are lots of plus points with this album. The vocals are suitably bonkers, ranging from powerful cries, deep growls to a high pitched, witchy cacophony. The musicianship is great, and the rhythm section successfully keep the march relentless. The songs are fast and filled with          fantastic tales of battles and bravery.

But the guitar tone was just off for me. I like something with more crunch; more skull smashing intensity. After the cool intro, first track “The Witch”, whilst a great song, suffers from a languid guitar sound that slices the records               hamstrings before the fight is really on.

Don’t misunderstand me, the playing is great – it’s the production that’s slightly lacking. The guitars should be much more axe in the face, blood and brains       everywhere.

There’s still a lot to recommend Krull’s “The Black Coast” though. Especially if you dig your metal as a soundtrack to a rampaging berserker, attacking a horde of evil ghouls.

Oh, and get down to your local Blockbuster and rent the Krull video. You won’t regret it. It makes Lord of the Rings look like a bad Dungeons and Dragons game in a crack den…!

TRACK LISTING
1. In the Woods – Intro
2. The Witch
3. By Steel
4. Marching to Mountains
5. Valhalla
6. The King and the Sword
7. Immortals
8. Stand fight to Kill
9. The Black Coast

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/krullheavymetal/
https://krullofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/krull.official/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdgPwJVIKdkOcphCcdQSBBA

Krull Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Voltax – No Retreat … You Surrender

Voltax album cover

Voltax – No Retreat … You Surrender

Running Time 39:45

Released on 14-04-2017 via Iron Shield Records / Pure Steel Promotions

8/10 – Review by Dawn King

One of things that really bugs me about reviewing is the way other reviewers pigeon-hole albums and bands and one thing that can not be done with the new album by Mexican band, Voltax, is pigeonholing.

Formed in Mexico City in 2006, Voltax have evolved into one of Mexico’s most impressive underground metal bands. They released their demo, “Discharge” in 2006 and their self-titled debut full length album was released the following year.

Despite not registering on MY heavy metal radar, Voltax do have a history and a metal pedigree behind them and never once have they abandoned their classic metal sound. I have seen them be described as “NWOBHM with a hint of Mercyful Fate and a sprinkling of Deep Purple”, “Traditional heavy metal mixed with classic speed metal” and also “With the hint of a progressive feel”.

I would like to describe them just as they describe themselves, “There is no “old school” and “new school” WE are heavy metal, as pure and as heavy as it can be played, no more, no less.”

Their second full length album “Fugitive State of Mind” was released in 2010 and featured artwork by Dimitar Nikolov (Ruthless, Fatal Violence and Air Raid) and in 2011 they won the WOA Metal Battle Mexica, playing the international final at the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle, finishing in third place.

Their third album “Hiding into Flames” was released in 2013 and consolidated the band as a vital force of the Mexican scene.

Now they are back with their new album, the fantastically titled “No Retreat…You Surrender”, again featuring the talents of artist Dimitar Nikolov.

Citing influences such as Judas Priest, Accept, Mercyful Fate, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Uriah Heep, UFO and Black Sabbath, it’s easy to see these shine through in this album. The band has a typical early 80s metal sound of galloping bass lines and thundering drums, mixed with twin guitar harmonies, searing guitar solos and shrieking vocals.

For me, the vocals took a little bit of getting used to, but then, as I have said before in previous reviews, if the vocalist is not singing in his native language, they will tend to sound a bit “off” to native English speakers. Having said this, the guy can sing. He has a hoarse, shrieking voice but he doesn’t bark or grind the vocals, which are, overall, very clear.

This may seem to some people as yet another throwback album, latching on to a sound of a bygone era and wringing it for everything it has while not bringing anything new to the table.

BUT, for me that is its appeal. I love newer bands reproducing the sounds of older ones because there is always that little bit of individuality that not everyone can hear.

These guys are full on leather and bullet belt heavy fucking metal and I for one hope they stick around for a very long time.

Definitely one for all the heavy metal maniacs out there \m/

Voltax band pic

Track List – 

  • El Fin (Intro)
  • Broken World
  • This Void We Ride
  • Deadly Games
  • Go With Me
  • Starless Night
  • Night Lasts Forever
  • Explota
  • The Hero
  •  25, 6 to 4 (Bonus track)

Links –

 

Disclaimer:  This review is the sole property of Dawn King and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce any part of this review, unless you have the explicit agreement of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and reported to the relevant authorities.