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Review: Steel Assassin - War Of The Eight Saints
Steel Assassin
War Of The Eight Saints

Label: Sentinel Steel Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 64:09
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: October 29, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
War Of The Eight Saints

Rated 3.71/5 (74.12%) (17 Votes)

Steel Assassin managed exactly one album back in the 80's, and so despite a lot of underground buzz, the band never went anywhere. The members split up and scattered to other projects - the usual story. But now, in this decade of reunions and resurrections, the Assassin is back from the dead and ready to kick your ass. With the entire original lineup except for former vocalist Doni Escolas, the band recruited new singer John Falzone and signed with Sentinel Steel Records to finally record their second full-length effort War Of The Eight Saints.

I was stoked for this to be a behemoth of a True Metal album, and in a lot of ways it is. The album is over an hour chock-full of classic metal riffs and leads. Kevin Curran and Phil Grasso have not lost their mojo, and the riffs on this thing are massive. Between epics like "Merchants Of Force" and "Sword In The Stone", and speedier metal cuts like "Curse Of The Black Prince" this album has a lot of variety and dynamic. The overall style is not surprisingly very reminiscent of other classic bands like Overlorde or Jag Panzer. New wailer Falzone is a fine singer, and he powers out the songs with a lot of verve and attitude. If I have a complaint to level, it's that most of the songs don't have really great vocal hooks. There are good passages, but on the whole the vocal lines are rather obvious an uninspired. The choruses in particular are a bit weak, with otherwise killer tunes like "Hill Of Crosses", "Curse Of The Black Prince", and the title track marred by dull, over-harmonized choruses.

If Steel Assassin could come up with vocal lines as awesome as their riffs then we would be talking classic here, but as it is, War Of The Eight Saints is just good, rather than great. I urge any fans of classic metal to check this out, as the guitars alone are worth the whole album, and I don't want to give the impression the vocals are bad, or ruin the whole disc. It's just that this album could have been even better than it is. Worthy.

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