Steel maID... you can guess immediately what kind of metal is their trade, right? It is weird that in the history of heavy metal music there has never been a band with this name. I can even swear that I remember the trademark of Steel maId from my childhood or from my last midnight dream.
The band plays powerful 80’s influenced heavy metal created by Ex-RITUAL STEEL-guitarist Dirk Johannsen. He has done a magnificent work in this album with the strange title “Raptor” (I will continue to wonder what is the creative art link “steel-raptor”) ... Well, one is for sure, the raptors appeared before the inventing of the steel. And the song “Raptor” is an instrumental. So, raptors are first. But etymology enough!
The music is extremely pleasant for listening and it sounds very German. It reminds the Teutonic scene although it is a mixture of Euro and US metal featuring the well known vocalist Al Firicano from RAVAGE. His deep male voice fits great to this music. In the previous year I was indeed impressed by their last album “The End of Tomorrow”. Some reviewers pointed Al Firicano’s vocal lines as not enough melodic and even terrible. However my opinion is the opposite: his voice is excellent!!! Male enough!!! And I love his vocals not less than these of U.D.O.; GRAVE DIGGER’s Chris Boltendahl or SABATON’s Joakim Brodén.
10 points for Karthago Records for choosing to release exactly this album with exactly this vocalist!
The riffs are mostly heavy and catchy, true metal, but not too picky. Similar stories have been done before and one can only ask how many times, but STEEL MAID sound like they have thousands of steel armours with which they could defeat masses of metal fans. The guitars are as if they come from the thick textbooks of the Music Academy – an awesome professional performance. Recommended songs: “Unbreakable”, “Hellwings of Fire”, “Die Fast”, “Armageddon”. You could also appreciate the two versions of “The Falling Angel”. In addition to the “old-new” 80’s heavy metal I can only tell you that the gender still has a lot of things to show and there are still admirers to the classic. And this album is one of the evidences.
The debut of STEEL MAID “Raptor” is a wonderful addition to the heavy metal discography of the fans respectful toward history of metal music. The album has built a strong bridge between the German and the US heavy metal in the best traditions of the style. Give it a try!