|Review: Steel Assassin - War Of The Eight Saints|
|War Of The Eight Saints|
Label: Sentinel Steel Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 16, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:War Of The Eight Saints
Steel Assassin are yet another 80s Heavy Metal band parachuting back from the depths of time for a modern comeback, and "War of the Eight Saints", the title of this monolithic Heavy Metal titan, is just a euphemism for "11 ways to kick your sorry ass from here to Jupiter." Aside from the original vocalist, this is the complete band from the '80s, resurrected with a healthy dose of metallic youthful fire, and with new singer John Falzone, who sounds quite a bit like a younger Harry Conklin, they sound pissed as Hell and also powerful and cohesive enough to hold their ground in a metal scene that has changed leaps and bounds since the glory days of this sort of music in the 80s.
"War of the Eight Saints" is not really a genre transcending record, and it doesn't do anything to build upon the altar it was forged from, but it is one of those albums that just bleeds METAL from every pore, one of those great albums that will get your blood pumping and your head banging in no time. Falzone's vocals are a huge, raging bellow, and quite frankly the man sounds as if he's going to murder you where you stand at any given moment on this disc - he has a great voice for this style of ballsy, riffy Heavy Metal, and he doesn't falter or weaken at all on the entire 64 minutes of music here. The riffs and leads are the real show-stoppers, however, as they are all certified True Metal Gold of the old Jag Panzer/Liege Lord/Judas Priest school; just blazing, roaring exercises in metallic glory that will never get old. There is no shortage of variety here, from speedy cookers like the thundering "Barabbas" to midpaced headbangers like the opening blast of "Hawkwood" and then to slower, more elaborate epic numbers like "Sword in the Stone" and especially the 10 minute splendor of the ending title track - what a fucking song!
Picking out standout tracks is a moot point, because this is something you have to hear as a whole; this is, after all, over an hour of classic Heavy Metal, and that is another one of the best things about this - the fact that it's got so much more meat on it than other such albums do. There are so many Heavy Metal albums that are under 40 minutes long, and while that is not a bad thing, it's refreshing to have something that doesn't leave me wanting more. "War of the Eight Saints" is a complete package, with enough meat on its metal bones to leave you too bloated to even think of eating dessert or going for seconds. A satisfying, wholesome and overall consistently excellent effort, and that is much more than I can say for a lot of albums these days.
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