Released: 2012, Pure Steel
The relatively new label, Pure Steel (and it’s affiliates Pure Rock, Pure Prog, Pure Legends etc), is rapidly becoming one of my favourite Metal record labels. In light of a number of great releases and the high quality from the label, I want to do a little feature and look back at seven PURE STEEL albums from 2012 you may have missed including Alltheniko, Custard, In Aevum Agere, Phantom X, Power Theory, StormRider and Sleepy Hollow. Please feel to enjoy the reviews of all these fine releases in our Pure Steel feature, as well as previous published reviews of New Eden, Emerald and Axehammer.
Custard has been around forever, a least a quarter of a century, but still have been unable to claw their way out of the underground. Plagued by sub-par album art, a quirky logo, label trouble (five labels in five albums!) constant line-up changes, weird, grammatically poor album titles and a really bad band name, the band has struggled to gain recognition over the years. I read that in their early days their English was poor and they picked the very ‘not-Metal’ band name based on the recommendation of a well-meaning friend or manger or something. All those potentially negative factors do not mean there is a lack of quality in the music however! The band stuck to their Metal guns and has churned out an impressive new album INFESTED BY ANGER, despite, again, another poor title.
The German quintet again has had more lineup changes as they made the with to Pure Steel with guitarist Michael Marquardt and bassist Robert Resinek being replaced by Guido Girsch (who is apparently already gone!) on guitar and Markus Berghammer on bass. For you guys who watch the industry trades that means that three ex-members of Seventh Gate played on this album! Oddly enough, in a situation you don’t see very often, the drummer Chris is the only original member left!
Trivia aside, INFESTED BY ANGER is a really strong Power Metal record. Could this be the album that helps them breakthrough? I hope so, they certainly deserve as they have fought through the adversity to craft a masterwerk. The lengthy 15-track, hour-long album is loaded up with Metal anthem after Metal anthem and they all have their own merits. The lyrics are quintessential Metal lyrics Tunes of War songs of glory and battles across the ages from the era of Ancient Greece ‘300’ to modern days with the stand-out track ‘Death From Above’ with the funny and amusing ‘Parachute Infantry’, the intro track that precedes it. Speaking of the song, ‘300’, since the action-movie of the same name came out in 2006 there has been a number of great songs based on that historical battle. Musically the band sit perfectly along side Majesty, Paragon, Stormhammer, Wizard and all that other uber-German Metal that is so pure and true to the ideals of their forefathers in Accept, Grave Digger and Running Wild.
I don’t know why people aren’t more supportive of this band. Maybe it’s the name, maybe they are too underground, but INFESTED BY ANGER is a killer Metal record that would sit proudly in the library of any self-respecting Metalhead.