Well, this one was a surprise. I had never heard of STEEL RAISER before, yet they have already released three albums (this one is their fourth full-length) and the vocals are handled by Alfonso Giordano, the guy who sung in NOBLE SAVAGE‘s “Marching for Glory” album. And if you don’t know NOBLE SAVAGE make sure to listen to them, since their “Marching For Glory” album is an Italian epic metal masterpiece of seer excellence.
Even though STEEL RAISER are not on par with NOBLE SAVAGE, they are damn well awesome in their own way. Their music tends to be more edgy, straightforward and catchy, and closer to the European power metal sound.
STEEL RAISER were formed in 2007 and have been releasing decent heavy metal albums without any compromises ever since. As I mentioned earlier, the band has already released three albums and judging from the cheesy, yet beautiful cover, I didn’t expect anything less of their fourth album “Acciaio” than an overdose of pure metal. And indeed, their simplistic yet powerful style is full of massive, galloping riffs with a sense of aggression, melodic choruses and inspired songwriting.
“Demon – Angel”, the first track, is a fine example of European power metal with influences from HELLOWEEN, PRIMAL FEAR and BLIND GUARDIAN. The following tracks do not stray off this approach, however, they do imbue some speed/thrash metal elements (mainly in the riffing section). Songs like “Night of The Duster”, “Spirits of Vengeance”, “Man of Rage” and “Demon-Angel” have a more speed/power tempo, while others, like “Highway eagle”, “Rising Phoenix” and “The King of The Night”, hold more references to the German metal scene. The solid riffing is soaked with a hard rock-ish vibes that reminded me of ACCEPT, VICTORY, AXXIS and UDO. The rest of the album is in the same high level, while the romantic ballad “Wherever” stands out.
As far as the sound is concerned, I really liked the production. The sound is solid and the guitars are massive with the rhythm section being the driving force. Alfonso sounds better than ever, surely more aggressive than NOBLE SAVAGE, and I have to say I loved his Italian “love or hate” accent.
To sum it up, I’d suggest to not pass on this on one. STEEL RAISER is not the band that will change your life, but it will bring a smile to the faces of all those who are in need of unforgiving, unshameful heavy metal.