Released: 2007, Sentinel Steel
Reviewer: Simon Lukic
24 years later and a debut album from Steel Assassin finally sees the light of day. With a history that dates back to 1983, Steel Assassin was another band of US hopefuls that never quite got things off the ground even though their song “The Executioner” appeared on Metal Massacre 6. Despite their obscurity, the underground was still clamouring for the band and the release of BACK FROM THE VAULTS on bassist Paul Grasso’s independent label GME in 1997 went some way in satisfying the need for music from Steel Assassin.
Well the time has finally arrived for the “official” debut and WAR OF THE EIGHT SAINTS certainly doesn’t disappoint in anyway. With a new vocalist in John Falzone (ex Triphammer) replacing Doni Escolas and the remaining original members in tact, Steel Assassin has delivered one of the finest albums of 2007. Each of 11 tracks are unique and brimming with energy and power.
It’s as if the band saw this as an opportunity to right the missed opportunities of the past and in the process created a superb Traditional Metal album that simply blows away the competition. HammerFall, Jag Panzer or Nocturnal Rites have yet to release anything as good as WAR OF THE EIGHT SAINTS in the last few years and in all due respect I doubt that they ever will.
The key to all of the tracks on the album is vocalist Falzone who is the perfect frontman for the band. Not only does he do the material justice with his Dio like rasp but he makes you believe in what he’s saying, which is rare nowadays. The band itself completes the picture with a stunning ensemble performance that is vibrant, energetic and full of fire. I know that there are some that will view Steel Assassin as a band way past their prime but experienced song writing and taste will always win out in the end. It goes without saying that it has here.
With 2008 in motion I can only hope that Metal fans will still search for WAR OF THE EIGHT SAINTS because it’s an album that deserves your support and attention. Steel Assassin has created a massive album here and I’m sure that after one listen you will agree. It seems like the time is right for some long overdue recognition so let the adulation begin.