Sound: Some of you may remember the interview that we recently conducted with Steeltrooper. It revealed a band of passionate young musicians who had fun creating some great heavy metal. Well here's a review of their new record "Eternal Warrior", a killer slab of iron. From the mindripping cover art to the fun guitar harmonies this album rocks. One fan described them as "What would happen if Lemmy sang for Iron Maiden". They are that awesome. With lots of riffs and plenty of shredding the guitar sound gives this band a solid sound. When combined with a powerful bass that never fails to impress the sound just gets better. Then the crazy drumming of Gaz gives the music rhythm. And all of this is topped off by Owens vocals featuring a great explosive energy. All in all this debut release from Steeltrooper features some of the greatest tunes I have heard all year, especially from an unsigned band.
The guitar parts on this record are truly excellent, Owen Hill is one of my favorite young guitarists and his compositions never cease in impressing me. His solos feature lots of neo classical influences and often take a turn for the Dragonforce. Loz Shaw also has some pretty great chops and his solos come out as distortion laden slabs of shred. The riffage on this album is very solid, one of my favorite riffs is on the track Night Prowler where a hectic NWOBHM type riff leads into a headbanging song. There are also some great guitar harmonies which give the music a fun power metal feel. Two great examples of harmony on this record are "The Truth About Heartbreak" and the song "Steeltrooper". Personally, I feel that "Steeltrooper" (the song) is the best example of guitar harmony this year. There is something about that initial riff that never fails to rip my head off.
The bass parts on this record are most excellent as well. In particular the intro to "Enter The Dragon" features a great bass part that is repeated throughout the song. Steeltrooper went through a variety of bassists in the writing of this album but I think that few will argue that their current bassist, Morgan, is their best. His solid attack gives a great feel to songs like "Ashes To Dust" where he accompanies the shredding harmony with a great rhythm part. On a future recording it might be nice to hear him get a bigger part but as a whole Morgan's contribution to this record is very solid. The drumming on the part of Gaz is extremely solid and he has an approach to the instrument which really allows him to shine. In particular the drum solo on "Prosperous" is very well done. All in all the rhythm section of this band is very strong and their sheer aggression helps make this record awesome. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Then we have Owen's vocals, which rock the house. While often they are melodic and show off a power metal side the majority of the time the vocals have a hard hitting Lemmy feel to them. Yet between these Owen finds a great balance. The majority of the time his choruses are soaring and easy to sing a long too, one of the most appealing aspects of the band. Then his verses have more aggression to them with their Lemmy like style. This gives a nice contrast in Steeltrooper's sound and makes them even more metal. In addition to the clean vocals Loz does some great growls, in particular his vocals on "Enter The Dragon" give Steeltrooper a darker feel. The lyrics on this album mostly concern two main themes, love, and fantasy. Owen writes lyrics well for both a lot of them having been fueled by personal experience. All in all the vocals and lyrics on this most recent Steeltrooper release are very well done. // 9
Impression: In conclusion, Steeltrooper is one of the greatest metal forces to hit England in a long time. With killer riffage and harmonies the guitar attack draws you into the music. This is compounded by the basic anger conveyed in the bass work of Morgan. The drumming of Gaz helps to fill out the Steeltrooper sound and give them a wall of metal to attack from behind. Owen's vocals feature some great melodies and harsh verses that go along nicely with the lyrics. To finish, Steeltrooper is an amazing metal band with a great sound that will leave you wanting more. Go listen to them and buy the album, its only 6 quid.
If you like my stuff please check out my blog at Twoguysmetalreviews.blogspot.com. // 10