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Album Reviews : SteelSwarm – The Ultimate Offering

By on February 10, 2014

SteelSwarmPicture Accept meets Testament, then pepper in a little of Anthrax, and you may have something close to what makes up SteelSwarm. This trio from Sydney have steadily been making the runs since 2012 (albeit, the concept for the band was first conceived by brothers and fellow band mates, Dane and Jamie Simms in 2007), and are now ready to unleash on the unassuming masses their debut EP, The Ultimate Offering; a fine, little collection of four tracks which require little effort to feel comfortable listening to.

The Ultimate Offering is a neat EP in the sense that while with some EPs that you listen to that can at times feel a little contrived and forced, SteelSwarm’s entry by comparison feels remarkably inviting and fresh. Not to mention, there is a great batch of thrash metal tracks on offer here with clear hints at traditional heavy metal (something that’s always welcomed in my book).

Opening with “Inheritor”, Dane, the band’s frontman and guitarist, wastes no time shredding out the thrash riffs as his vocals burn in at full force. Interestingly, “Inheritor” is a rather easy song to listen to, and I mean that in sense that this isn’t the frantic, 200bpm thrash that composes much of the thrash metal world today. Instead, it clearly hearkens back to its early 80s influences, channelling the aforementioned bands, and at other times the likes of Megadeth and Metallica. Speaking of Megadeth, Dane’s vocals has a very Mustaine-Chuck Billy tinge to them, something that seems entirely fitting for SteelSwarm’s particular brand of heavy-metal-meets-thrash.

Continuing in its stead is the EP’s title track, a song pulsating with blistering riffs and galloping drum beats. It’s a fairly straight forward track, but in no way is this hindrance to the band. Luke Jackson’s drumming is well complemented by Jamie’s bass work and Dave’s excellent guitar solo.

This is followed by one of the standout tracks on The Ultimate Offering, “Ever Rest”. Gleaning a more mature side of the band, it opens with an excellent instrumental that extends for just over a minute, and shows the real potential of SteelSwarm. Working in perfect harmony together, the drum beats weave their way around the engaging riff work and illuminate a raw talent held by this band that should further help excel them beyond the status of ‘just another thrash/trad metal band’.

“The Underworld Awaits” brings SteelSwarm back into familiar thrash metal territory, but it’s a welcome return, serving to show their band at what is clearly their field of expertise. The production quality on this EP is quite high, displaying the three band members in all their thrashy, traditional metal soaked glory. The riffs are sharp, Dave’s singing is top-notch, and both Luke and Jamie give it their all.

While The Ultimate Offering isn’t without its flaws (of which there are few anyway), it is a damn fine effort, and will no doubt see this band reach interesting heights in the future as they further refine their sound and cement their name in the ever-blossoming world of thrash and heavy metal.

Band: SteelSwarm
Album: The Ultimate Offering
Year: 2014
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Sydney, Australia

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.