Medieval Steel: The anthology of steel
28/05/12 || Cobal
Every now and then, a release that reminds us what heavy metal basics are is put out in the market. These reminders also work for reconnecting metal music with its very origins, because like it or not, the awesome “genre” initiated by British bands in late 60s is NOTHING but a sub-genre of rock music. “The Anthology of Steel” is that kind of release precisely.
Now, neither do we have in our hands a hard rock AC/DC-like album, nor a death ‘n’ roll one. Medieval Steel are a rather regular American power-heavy metal act from back in the 80s, and “The Anthology of Steel” is their latest record, a compilation of their glories of the past, plus a brand new 2012 song.
Sounds like fun, uh? As a matter of fact it is, a lot. There are several nice features in this one, being perhaps the most remarkable of all that there is REAL variety amongst the songs. Don’t you simply die of boredom when one of those cVlt bands release a 60 minutes record sounding exactly the freaken same all along?
“TAoS” features all kinds of different songs passing from speedy melodic metal to hard rock, including of course a couple power ballads. The thang here is that being so diverse (and that is perfectly fine to me, ESPECIALLY in a compilation), the whole record has the same unmistakable feeling and style. They all are clean, melodic, epic, inspiring and inspired, as well as catchy. Except, I know, that isn’t really much of a description, is it?
Let’s say I find it worthy when a band achieve to draw mystical scenarios where to fix their lyrics, at the same time avoiding that movie sound track feeling that has sadly become a cliché. Not that I don’t like spectacular arrangements, but there are some other ways to create given kinds of atmospheres aside the vulgar overuse of keyboards and shit, you know.
But, is this an atmospheric album then? Not really.. Previously I mentioned the rocker approach of this ol’farts delighted me, remember? In other words, it’s melodic riffs what’s to be found here, and they’re very intelligently used working for a very elegant songwriting. Simply put, although simple, it’s flawless.
All instruments play their role well, and as it normally happens, guitars have a particular emphasis, yet if you ask me, it’s vocalist Bobby something the one whose work I enjoyed the most. Not only is his voice is strong and well sustained, but he also gets to refine several different tones giving a very especial tint to each song. Not being the typical annoying 80s screaming metal singer definitely gives him extra points with me.
It’s my belief this kind of metal deserves much more attention, particularly these days, when youngsters seem to mean to divorce from the source. “TAoS” is a fine compilation of true heavy metal, and trust me on this one, it’s something everyone can enjoy.
Highlight: “Medieval Steel”, “Echoes” and “Lost in the City”. These three are also fine examples of what I stated regarding vocals.
- Released: 2012
- Label: No Remorse Records
- Website: Medieval Steel MySpace
- Bobby Franklin: vocals
- Scott Jones: guitars, keyboards
- Steve Crocker: bass
- Chris Cook: drums
- 01. Medieval Steel
- 02. Warlords
- 03. Battle Beyond the Stars
- 04. Echoes
- 05. Tears in the Rain
- 06. Lost in the City
- 07. To Kill a King
- 08. Eyes of Fire
- 09. Ghost from the Battlefield
- 10. The Killing Fields