Toledo Steel-Heading For The Fire

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: December, 2021
Released: 2021, Dissonance
Rating:  4 /5
Reviewer:  JP

I had to look up the significance of ‘Toledo Steel’. It seemed like an odd name to me. Being a North American I associated the name with the city in the US state of Ohio. The band is not from Ohio. They are from England.  Toledo is a city in Spain.  I feel so confused and international all at the same time. Apparently, Toledo was a prominent area for weapon-craft as far back as the beginning of The Iron Age.  I guess that is a pretty rad name for a Metal band after all.

HEADING FOR THE FIRE is the bands second album and it is quite a ripper.  The band check all the right boxes; cool name, decent album cover, good lyrics, and fine production values.   The CD itself is designed to look like a vinyl record so you know where their heart lies.

The quartet has whipped up a solid eight-track 44-minute slab of classic Metal.  Bands in this style have to live and die by the song. They don’t emphasize insane musicianship like some prog-Metal bands or crazy speed in bands like Dragonforce. They don’t have a gimmick ort crazy image like GWAR to rely on. It comes down to the strength of the song and thankfully HEADING FOR THE FIRE is full of them; fist-bangin’, heart-pumpin’ anthems of steel. The vocals are sincere and delivered with conviction.   All the players are decent, solos are convincing but not built on total flash. TOLEDO STEEL sound like a hundred other bands and none of them at the same time.  You can hear touchstones of any number classic bands you want to mention, but that is the point.  These dudes are keeping that flame alive.  It’s hard to pick a fave cut but ‘Rituals By The Firelight’ with acoustic intro, mood shifts and tempo changes and evocative lyrics is near the top of my list.

Is there, statistically speaking, a New Wave Of True Metal?  Some pundits seem to think so.  I’m not convinced. This genre of traditional, classic, true Metal (whatever you want to label it as) has been going since the mid-80’s.  It is not ‘new’, there are just new bands still doing it and Toldeo Steel is one of many.  Depending on your tastes or preference for classic Metal, HEADING FOR THE FIRE is as good as any of them.

Line Up:

Matt Dobson-Drums
Rich Rutter-Vocals
Felix Dock-Bass
Tom Potter-Guitar

Track Listing:

1. On the Loose
2. Into the Unknown
3. Writing’s on the Wall
4. Smoke and Mirrors
5. No Time to Lose
6. Wicked Woman
7. Rituals By the Firelight
8. Last Rites