Blacksmith - _Sharpen the Steel_
by: Quentin Kalis (3 out of 5)
Despite its 55 minute plus playing time, this is a demo of "Barbarian Pagan Metal" and not an independent album, but would have been a pleasant listening experience had much of the extraneous fluff been trimmed -- of which the five minute drum solo is merely the most obvious example. Yes, one song consist entirely of Onan the Barbarian banging away self-indulgently behind his drum kit. The skill of the drummer concerned is irrelevant; five minutes is far too long for anyone other than fellow drummers. Some acoustic intermezzos are also present, but they are literally a sine qua non for the genre and would barely warrant a mention if it were not for that drum solo. The songs proper are more listenable, but not all are of equal quality, and it is more apparent that _Sharpen the Steel_ would have been better served as an EP.


(article published 3/12/2008)

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