|Review: Steel Warrior - Army of the Time|
|Army of the Time|
Label: Hellion Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: December 7, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Army of the Time
Tony's right, there must be something in the water down in South America. How else could there be so many cool bands springing up down there all at once? Hibria, Battlerage, Nordheim, Dragonheart, Bloden Wedd, and now Steel Warrior. Despite a cliché name, this band kicks some serious Power Metal ass.
This ain't no fruity Angra-worship here, no this is fast and furious crunchy metal in the vein of Cryonic Temple or even Wizard. Steel Warrior riff out some really catchy hooks on this disc, from the headbanger chorus on the title cut, to the hyperspeed careen of "Spell Of Witches World". "Power Metal" is a slower tune, but packs some killer riffs and a chorus you'll be singing along with before the song's even over. "Divine Wind Of Sho" is another high-octane barn-burner, as is "Your Majesty's Return". In between are sprinkled some songs like "Guardians Of The Desert Sea", which aren't as good, and the genuinely boring ballad "When We Were Kings". But overall this album is solid slayage.
What I like about most of the current new wave of metal bands from Brazil and points south is that while they may use keys or be heavy on speed and melody, they never forget that metal is all about riffs, and the guitars stay upfront and crunchy, with plenty of heaviness to go around. Singer Andre Fabian is a real find, as he sounds almost spot-on like a younger, more energetic Dio. The performances are good, with some great leadwork, and the recording is very pro. A certain charming lack of English skills is apparent in the album title and the lyrics, but with quality steel like this I am prepared to forgive that.
If you love Cryonic Temple, Wizard or Hibria, then this is a disc to check out. Steel Warrior may not be quite as good as those bands, but they are certainly on their way. Recommended.
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