Iron Shield Records
The Italian metal scene is one of my favorite. Many might have in mind that from this country bands like RHAPSODY only pop out, but if you do a research you will see that Italy had in the 80’s an interesting heavy metal scene and in our days it still has. Also the Italian scene has a lot of variety. STEEL RAISER were born in 2007 and are part of this metal scene. Soon they will release their third album entitled “Unstoppable” which will be released by Iron Shield Records and I am in the pleasant position to present it to you.
THE COVER: I think there is a strong symbolism here. On the cover you can see a huge impressive bird which is no other than the Phoenix which according to mythology is reborn from its ashes. The phoenix has on his back rider warrior that holds his sword high and is ready to attack. It is a really beautiful cover which in my opinion could easily be the cover of a fantasy comic book. Also I think it underlines the changes that the band went through on this album without though losing its traditional heavy metal identity.
MUSICAL STYLE: If you had followed the band, then you probably know about their love for JUDAS PRIEST. Their music was actually strongly influenced by this band, but they also had some power metal touches that brought to mind PRIMAL FEAR. So in a few words STEEL RAISER were about screaming guitars and high pitched vocals. They have all the elements that made us love 80’s metal. Things though in their new album have become a little bit more complicated, but let me tell you more about it in the next paragraph.
COMPOSITIONS: In the new album you will have the chance to listen to 10 new compositions which although hold all the characteristics of STEEL RAISER, they also add to it some new elements. There is still here present the JUDAS PRIEST aggressiveness, but also the band emphasizes on melodies and they often use some keyboards too. The album sounds contemporary, but it also has a strong 80’s metal vibe that brings back good memories. I think that in this album the band has found its own personal style which balances between melody, aggressive heavy metal parts and of course high pitched vocals which are not screaming all the time, but give a dramatic touch to the compositions.
CONCLUSION: This is the best release of STEEL RAISER so far, because these guys have managed to craft a sound they can call their own and also give more depth and variety to their songs. It is a work of musical maturity that also holds true passion for traditional heavy metal. I can recommend this to fans of JUDAS PRIEST, PRIMAL FEAR and ACCEPT.