What happens when a few guys who are into death/black metal decide to form a power metal band? Well, the answer to this has to be STEELSONG. Coming from Los Angeles, CA, STEELSONG manage to bring together two completely different worlds in metal music: the extreme side of things and the epic aspect of it.
Not being shy of their extreme metal influences, you can tell right off the bat that “Africanvs” is a mixture of power metal with lots of death, black and thrash metal influences. Fierce guitar riffs, drum rudiments like the ones you usually hear in a death metal album, the CELTIC FROST-like vibe and the acoustic/folk elements, blend together forming a particular and rather unique texture. It has to be said that despite their extreme metal background, the band stays loyal to the epic/power metal path they set on with STEELSONG.
The EP comes with 5 songs and runs for about 25 minutes. Most of the songs are within the up-tempo range, with the exception of the closing tune, “Son of Jupiter”, which is an acoustic, ballad-like outro. Vocals vary from mid-range clean to high-pitched edgy, with some brutal parts here and there and are very fitting of the band’s style.
“Africanvs” is a concept album that deals with the story and deeds of Publius Cornelius Scipio, ancient Roman general and politician. It was his victorious march in Africa that earned him his nickname (Africanus) and the band a source of inspiration. Even though the [Roman Empire] theme isn’t a groundbreaking idea, it works perfectly for what the band is trying to achieve. The lyrics are detailed and serve the concept very well, while the acoustic/folk/narrative parts throughout the album add a bit of depth to the songs.
To wrap it up, I’d say that “Africanvs” is a very, very interesting venture and a unique one as well. It might be missing some polish, but it got my attention as soon as I hit the “play” button and it kept me hooked, thus earning numerous “spins”. Now I’m really curious to see what the next step for these guys will be. Totally recommended for people who love their metal epic to the extreme. March on.