MEGATON SWORD is one of the numerous bands that became active through the new rebooting of Epic Metal that is taking place the last years. As a matter of fact, I had the pleasure of reviewing their first EP a release showed potential for something fat greater in the future and earned MEGATON SWORD recognition among other bands (SELLSWORD, DON’T DROP THE SWORD, BY FIRE AND SWORD etc).
“Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire” is the band’s first full length album, an ambitious project and a story of high fantasy (as I can understand since there is no reference in the promo whether the album is a concept or not, though both the amazing artwork and the song titles, imply this) with references to the early days of classic and epic metal.
Those who have read my review of the band’s first attempt, should remember that I was not very much impressed by the EP. Though the band showed some potential, they somehow reminded me of an ETERNAL CHAMPION duplicand, and I was curios whether the band managed to imbue other influences into their music. And truth be told “Blood Hails Steel…” is much more interesting, diverse, and inspired than their earlier work.
Songs like “Verene”, “Wastrels” or “Songs of Victory” show a much more “European” straight-metal side of the band, mostly inspired by German power metal acts like RAGE or RUNNING WILD while other songs like the title track or “General Bloodlust” are more Epic with contemporary retro vibes like ETERNAL CHAMPION or SUMERLANDS. Thus, the album is much more interesting, adventurous, and enjoyable. I should mention that the “Giver’s Embrace” with its more mid-tempo rhythmic is among the highlights of the album alongside with “Verene” and “Wastrels”, two songs that can be mentioned as trademark for the MEGATON SWORD musical direction.
So, everything is fine right? Not quite. Although the band had put a great effort to their creation, they still have a long road to go. The vocals still remind me of Jason Tarpey’s harmonies, and the guitar solos need work. However, these flaws provide a sense of honesty that its missing from today’s industrialized scene and a link to the true underground metal.
MEGATON SWORD are in on the right track and I do believe that the more “European metal” style brings out their true potential since they are capable of composing dynamic, catchy tunes. Give theme a chance and you will not regret it.
A second opinion:
I lately spent some time listening to the MEGATON SWORD’s latest release. Their “Niralet” Mini LP generated quite an impact in the underground Epic Metal scene, so I was basically curious to notice if the band could deliver the goods for one more time and if they would manage to offer us music much more inspired and into to the point compared to the “Niralet” stuff. And well… they did it. This time they focus even more on the European Power Metal roots, influenced by the Teutonic side of the genre. Those influences are combined with those classic mid tempo -and faster- Epic Metal parts which are the perfect link for the obscure Epic Metal universe from USA that the band worships anyway. And you know what? The result works! I have to admit that the band is presenting a a very interesting musical result. To me their music sounds much more complete, solid and on the same time diverse, compared to the “Niralet” stuff. I really enjoyed the record and I would recommend it to all the fans of sword ‘n’ sorcery music stuff. All hail Swiss Steel!
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