Released: 2010, Pure Steel Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
”In the name of heavy metal we trust.” “Heavy metal is the law.” “Death to false metal.” There are quite a few other as pompous and as steroid-driven slogans around like the aforementioned three slogans, related to the two words ´heavy metal´ that many metal musicians suck up their vital and catalyzing energy source from. At least these 4 Italian torchbearers of true heavy metal, Icy Steel, seem to be doing so.
Since the band´s promising self-titled debut album that came out three years ago – in 2007, half of the band members have quit the troops; gone are guitarist Alberto Ertta and drummer Alessandro Oggiano who have later been replaced by guitarist Pietro Bianco and drummer Claudio Sechi (according to the info kit that came along with this promotional CD for Icy Steel´s follow-up album, titled AS THE GODS COMMAND).
AS THE GODS COMMAND pretty much continues from those deep footprints where the guys left off on their debut album – the band counting on basically pure heavy metal heroism in which great melodies clash beautifully with bombastic, epic song structures – added with Stefano´s always so brilliant and wide range vocal delivery. The nostalgia level on this record also comes to play the main role within the songs that actually have Manowar´s sign of the hammer all over the place, metaphorically speaking at least.
Out of 12 tracks on this content-wise strong true heavy metal opus, 5 songs even manage to cross a 7-minute mark – and an epic journey they offer for example in the title track “As the Gods Command (Pt. 1)”, is pretty much a jackpot of what true, epic-like heavy metal should sound like first and foremost – for many of us traditional heavy metal fans anyway. Maybe now I am even a little bit rude to say but Icy Steel sounds in this particular tune in question way better, entertaining and convincing than Manowar have tried to sound on their last studio albums for many years. Quite obviously, Manowar would be somewhat proud of penning down something like this (no offense to Manowar fans though).
There´s 72-minutes of pure heavy metal fireworks on AS THE GODS COMMAND, so it´s a relatively long trip to plough through the album without single stops, but it´s still all worth it. Especially the fans of Manowar, Iron Maiden, Manilla Road, Slough Feg, etc. – take note!