Released: 2013, Pure Steel
I didn't know a thing about Steel Raiser before I listened to REGENERATION. After the molten volcano of metal erupted from my speakers in the form off the opening cut 'Cyber Laser', I already knew everything I need to know about this band, namely they kill with power!
I do likes reviews to be informative rather than just laced with hyperbole, so a little research revealed that this Italian quintet has been around for a few years and this is their second album. It took a while as the debut came out five years ago and are still on the Pure Steel label. The band also features a couple of members of Noble Savage as well.
Steel Raiser play a truly wonderful attacking style of aggressive Power Metal. No flower metal tendencies for these guys! Think Primal Fear and faster U.D.O. and you have an idea of the overall sound. The presentation is no frills, straight-up, balls to the wall Metal. The vocals of Alfonso lead the charge and while he may not be the most technically proficient singer, he really delivers an aggressive and powerful performance and quite a range from his deeper, rough normal voice to some higher screams like the ones heard at the end of 'Finalizer'. His enthusiastic delivery is slightly reminiscent of Blackie Lawless and is a highlight of the album.
The production of the short nine-song album is loud and raw with the guitars way up front do the riff really sink in. The album cover is a bit odd, the name of the album is not really visible and the perspective is odd with the band name sort of integrated into the artwork, which is cool. The songs are quite conventional, good solid riffs, a simple catchy chorus and pummelling drums keep the mostly faster songs driving for the horizon.
REGENERATION is not really adventurous in terms of composition, but it doesn't need to be. It's not weighed down with narration, strings, female vocalists, sounded fevers and so on, just five guys hammering out the pounding Metal like their forefathers in Judas Priest. It's good to hear the occasional Italian Power Metal band that does not go down Rhapsody road. Instead REGENERATION is a welcome chunk of Metal in the Germanic vein.