Power of Metal.dk Review

Stainless Steel
Metal Machine
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 13 September, 2013
Playing time: 57:43

It appears that there has been a lot of potential lost going in to this album, and I think it should have focused more on the stronger points. If I look at the vocals, there are some shrieks and shrills in this album that are of Rob Halford 'Painkiller' era calibre. In fact, the Judas Priest, Dio and Iron Maiden comparisons are prominent because throughout the album it is difficult not to think of those bands. Intentionally or unintentionally, it matters not. Whether that's a good or bad thing is subjective - I don't think it's bad.

The riffs in general are not the most original but that isn't what lets the album down. Firstly there are that the slower, cleaner vocals are unfortunately not vocalist Ralf Scholz's strong point which I think makes the album suffer in a few places, especially when you consider the kind of power demonstrated elsewhere in the album. The ballad entitled 'Hold On' is lovely, instrumentally, and really synchs together, but some peoples' voices are  not suited to ballads. It doesn't really fit, but it's not like you can growl or shriek throughout an entire ballad now, is it? And why would you?

The main issue for me though, was this: While the bass and drumming do the job of keeping the pace, they do so while not really having any chance to shine further than an average performance. It's fairly straightforward work. The last track, 'Land Of Eternal Fire' - please correct me someone if I am wrong here - doesn't sound like it actually WAS recorded live. I'm not convinced it was because it does sound a lot like an audience effect has been put in. Why? Either that, or I am mistaken (apologies) and the mixing didn't capture the authenticity of genuine crowd presence.

The album has a lot of enjoyable moments. There's a track called "We Want It - You've Got It" that belongs in an 80s montage that I find easy to enjoy. I actually put on a 'Rocky' DVD and turned the volume down listening to this song instead of the original soundtrack when he is training. It was fun. Clichéd 80s fun. For many - still the best kind of fun. There are some catchy duels between the guitars, like 'Riding On A Razorblade' and I think that is a cliché from the 80s that will never get tiresome to fans of the era - and to their credit this is what the band state that they set out to do from the start, so they do deliver on some fronts. Stainless Steel started a long time ago and this is a return for them after several years, but it is ultimately an average album. If they give the drums and bass a little more work to do, and concentrate the vocals more towards the shattering kind of power I mentioned earlier, there would be more positives. Keep the clichés, though. They want to remain 80s they've nailed things on the cliché front.

01. Back in your Minds
Master of the Universe
Preachers of Hate
Fear and Pain
Kiss of Judas
Fight to Survive
Riding on a Razorblade
Dirty Love
Death and Destruction
Hold On
12. We Want It - You've Got It
13. Land of Eternal Fire
Label: Pure Underground Records
Distribution: Pure Steel Records
Artwork rating: 60/100
Reviewed by: Matt Fabi
Date: 1 September, 2013
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