Steelglory - _Wayward Sons of the Beast_
(Independent, 2003)
by: Alvin Wee (8 out of 10)
A very welcome surprise from these Singaporean lads still holding the torch of true metal high; a piece of trad-metal from a country favouring the extreme black and death styles is always a special thing. The opening track wastes no time in starting the headbanging: rooted firmly in the early Metal Blade camp, this anthem bristles with raw yet melodic riffs, epic singing and blazing leads. Things continue pretty much in the same vein with uplifting and catchy choruses, setting feet stomping and fists pounding in a charmingly unpolished way reminiscent of early Skullview or Gothic Knights. Great stuff to set any true metaller's blood boiling, marred only by the occasional wailing of what appears to be the session vocalist, who manages to carry all the tunes with great effort, but fails lamentably on the difficult high passages. Still, these boys aren't afraid to rock out with hummable melodies a la Stormwitch like on "Lucifer's Path", but in a considerably more American vein (the '80s Cleveland / Auburn Records sound comes to mind), and even epic _Fear of the Dark_-era Maiden references abound on "Apparition (Spirits Within)". With a little experience and a stronger vocalist, these warriors should have no problems standing alongside all the Metalucifers and October 31s of the scene; meanwhile this $6 slab of steel is highly recommended for all those still loyally keeping the faith.


(article published 27/6/2003)

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