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Review: Black Steel - Destructor
Black Steel

Label: Adrenaline/Steelheart
Year released: 2002
Duration: 56:45
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: February 5, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4.4/5 (88%) (15 Votes)

I reviewed Black Steel's first release, the "Battle Call" EP a couple of years ago and found it OK but it didn't have much to set it apart from the rest of the pack. I must say that the band's first full-length has the opposite effect on me - boy did I get my ass kicked with this one. It's almost as if we were dealing with a completely different band. Everything has been improved - vocals and musicianship alike, and a much better songwriting. I don't know what the guys have been eating with their cereals but it sure did work. The band has successfully mixed influences from early 80s Priest, Maiden and even some Manowar and added their own personal, modern touch to create quite a powerful album with unbelievably catchy melodies. The one thing that grabbed my attention the most on the first listen was the much improved vocal work, and just like the music, the vocal melodies will catch you and just won't let go. In a couple of instances the vocals are slightly shaky, that's probably the one single negative criticism I can find for the whole album. Most of the songs are mid to fast-tempo rockers, but there are a couple of "semi-ballads" to help you catch your breath. No matter the type of song, they're all executed almost to perfection, and, as is obligatory with this genre of metal, you'll find more than your share of wicked guitar solos... I had to stop listening to this album at work, since many people are not familiar with air guitars... ahem. :)

I must say again that I am very impressed with this first full-length from these Australian heavy metallers, more so than with the last offering from their countrymates Pegazus, which doesn't come close to this one. Here's to hoping that Black Steel will be able to keep this up and release some more of this excellent stuff in the future. Fans of heavy metal with power metal elements should definitely check this out. More than highly recommended. :)

This edition of the album includes a CD-ROM track with the video for the song "Time Marches On", shot in a live setting.

Additional Information

-European version includes bonus video track for "Time Marches On"

Other related information on the site
Review: Battle Call (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Hellhammer (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Dave Harrison (bass) on February 16, 2003 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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