|Review: Steel Assassin - In Hellfire Forged|
|In Hellfire Forged|
Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 6, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:In Hellfire Forged
Steel Assassin is another band from my home state of Massachusetts, along with Ravage and Armory, which is holding high the torch of true Heavy Metal. While they have been around since the early 80s, In Hellfire Forged is only their 3rd release and is, in fact, a rerecording of many of the songs featured on their debut, From the Vaults. I don't know what the originals sound like but these versions, with new singer John Falzone, absolutely kill! This is classic US-flavored Heavy Metal in the vein of Armored Saint, Overkill and Metal Church; loud, fast and aggressive with crushing riffs, superb lead work and the gritty, mid-range vocals of Falzone.
The quality of the songs on In Hellfire Forged is remarkably consistent throughout the album. From the opener, "Spartacus" through the closer, a newly written track called "Breakout at St. Lo," which is intended for the band's next album, and is the absolute highlight of In Hellfire Forged, there is no filler whatsoever. Each song is fully realized. The energy is always high and carries you on with its epic sweep. Falzone's voice is perfectly suited to the music and he screams the choruses with total conviction. And they aren't the high pitched, balls-in-a-vice Power Metal screams either, but Halford/Dickenson style. Yeah, he's REALLY good. Guitarists Kevin Curran and Mike Mooney burn up their fret boards repeatedly, my favorite solo being the extended one on "Executioner." As mentioned "Breakout at St. Lo" is the highlight of the album and has the makings of an anthem for the band. Double-kicks and a Steve Harris-style bass line underpin some of the best hooks I've heard in a long time.
With no weak spots, In Hellfire Forged is a keeper. Highly recommended.
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