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Album Reviews : Metal – Proving Our Mettle

By on June 17, 2013

a3476574607_10With a name like Metal, and equally an album called Proving Our Mettle, it’s fairly safe to say you know what you’re in for here. For anyone that’s ever wondered what a combination of Manowar and Iron Maiden might sound like, it may be close to this band; this is an unabashed heavy metal opus. Being their debut release, Proving Our Mettle is a promising, if not at times slightly underwhelming, debut. While you can tell these guys love this style of music – and it definitely shows here – the production isn’t always as pretty or as sharp as the album cover would promise.

Mixed by Aaron Worboys and mastered by “The Mote of Steel”, the production of Proving Our Mettle is for the most part solid. That being said, however, there is a rawness here that doesn’t quite complement the epic feel the band were clearly going for.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love raw, crisp productions as much as the next guy, but there are albums where it’s used intentionally and to great effect, and then there are albums where you can tell that wasn’t the original intention. This album falls under the latter. Proving Our Mettle was no doubt inspired by, among others, the likes of Judas PriestsBritish Steel album, but you almost get the feeling here that Metal were using a blunted razor instead of the razor-sharp one that’s depicted on that cover.

It isn’t all negative, however. One of the highlights of this album is the crisp guitar work of Danny “Cyborg” Jenkins and Chinch “The Boss”. This is especially true on the solos in “Beneath the Banner of the Iron Duke” and “The Buccaneer’s Revenge” which is testament to this band’s potential.

The vocal work of Rayzor Ray is like a combination of Paul Di’Anno (the original vocalist of Iron Maiden) and Eric Adams (of Manowar). While Ray belts out his bass lines, there still feels as if there is something missing here in the vocals. He seems to struggle at times to keep consistent pace with the music. This can be heard on certain tracks like “The Smelting of Steel”. I can respect him though for what he’s done here. He clearly gives it his all on this record to make it sound as epic and heavy as possible. And I feel that once he develops and refines his vocal technique further, there is real potential here for this band.

“The Gry Lion” is a highlight of this album with the opening riff recalling the early years of Iron Maiden’s discography (circa Iron Maiden and Killers). This is also a track where the respective vocals and drum work of Rayzor Ray and Col “Ice Cold” Collins really hit their stride. The mid-section of this track slows to an epic, symphonic section before Rayzor Ray’s vocals usher in the excellent guitar solo that follows.

The next track on the album, “Fighting for Metal”, is a fun track to listen to. It has that same epic feel to it that makes bands like Manowar great to listen to on those certain occasions where you just want to blast out some cheesy, unapologetic heavy metal.

The last few tracks of this album close the album on a high note, with the guitars and percussive work a standout. This will likely be an album that will grow on you, and if you approach this album for what it is – an independent, heavy metal record – there will be a fair amount for you to enjoy about Proving Our Mettle.

Band: Metal
Album: Proving Our Mettle
Year: 2013
Genre: Heavy metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Sydney, Australia
http://metalofficialband.com

Track list:
1. Heavy Metal
2. Victory
3. Beneath the Banner of the Iron Duke
4. Battlefields Ablaze
5. The Buccaneer’s Revenge
6. The Smelting of Steel
7. The Gry Lion
8. Fighting For Madness
9. The Kiss of Steel
10. Proving Our Mettle
12. Trafalgar

About

Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.