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Album Reviews : Steel Attack – Enslaved

By on May 22, 2008

This is the first album where we see Steel Attack with the Addition of Ronny Hemlin. Don’t be put off by the cheesiness of the name though, because this album offers a little more than your generic power metal release.

It’s the kind of power metal that has the swords and dragons filtered out, and what we’re left with is raw fist-pumping energy and great melodies, but the filtering process has left some head room for Steel Attack to add a few of their own twists. One for instance being Ronny Hemlin’s varied and ecstatic vocals, and there’s a lot of thrashy and very heavy riffs and sections in this album, that couples well with and compliments the melodic elements.

The vocals are a stand out point, as not only does he hit all his high notes with precision and definition, but has an all around great timber and quality to his vocal lines, and manages to add that extra emotional dimension to the lyrics that convey what they’re really about. His lyrical influence is obvious too, as Enslaved focuses more on undermining the conformity and unintelligent mentality of extremist groups and individuals, that comes with mass organised religion. This is slightly elusive, as with song titles such as “bless my sins” and lyrics such as “glory to our lord” you think this would have come straight out of the church, but a deeper listen reveals that they have taken the role of pointing out the Ironies and paradoxes that lay within religion, and provides an interesting insight and viewpoint without resorting to more derogatory blasphemous measures. But what the real highlight of hte vocals is is that not only is he an amazing clean vocalist, but his growls are gutteral and brutal enough to be fit for any death metal band. This really compliments Steel Attack’s heavy sections…

So, we have outstanding vocals, intelligent lyrics, drums are pounding and tight, guitars are going mental and have blistering leads… this is turning out to be a pretty solid album.

The only negatives are that while Steel Attack have a number of distinguished features in their sound, the guitar work and general songwriting stops it from being an amazing, outstanding album. This is a great release, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not completely new; and while the fans of heavier genres might hear a bit of a fresh vibe of brutality in this release, most people who are not into power metal would tend to dismiss it for ‘just another power metal band’. There are sections, riffs, and solos that are quite familiar with power metal, along with epic, melodic choruses and insane double kicks. None of these are bad things, but if you can’t stand power metal, this might not be for you.

It is definitely more than just your run of the mill power metal album, but at the end of the day, its roots and influences prevail, which of course is not a bad thing, Steel Attack aren’t trying to play something they’re not with this release, it’s simply that it will always have that ‘power metal stigma’ attached to it, which does occasionally resort to some trends, that stop this album from being completely original and revolutionary.

So, all in all, a great strong album with Steel Attack’s own fresh sound and style, but it is still akin to regular power metal. 7.2/10

Band: Steel Attack
Album: Enslaved
Year: 2004
Genre: Power Metal
Label: Arise Records
Origin: Sweden
http://www.myspace.com/steelattack

Track Listing:
1. Gates of Heaven
2. Out of the Flames
3. Forsake
4. Bless My Sins
5. Immortal Hate
6. Son of a Thousand Souls
7. Enslaved
8. Voices
9. When You Dream

Reviewed by Demonizer

About

Outside of occasionally contributing to Metal Obsession, Luke is the guitarist and brain behind Knightmare and Seventh Sage, and also plays in Septerrus. Luke studies Engineering full time at Monash, likes Mexican food, and also does other things besides metal.