Thursday, February 16, 2012
Hyborian Steel- Blood, Steel and Glory Review
Like the savages they are, they start off with a beat of a war-drum and a demonic voice before taking out their axes and slashing their way through with their epic riffs. These guys sure know how to write some kick-arse metal riffs. It's much like old school Iron Maiden and Cirith Ungol. They manage to have some really nice dynamic songs, they're not the same tempo all the way throughout the songs. The guitar solos just shred your face off and aren't just blatant wank-fests. The widdly-woo of the guitars are like the swordplay in battle, fast and sharp but graceful in their movement. Now, the vocals are going to take some getting used to. They're a little on the deep side, not like Pavarotti deep, but more of a baritone-lower tenor. There are even a few guttural moments. It's not what exactly you expect from an epic band such as this, but it gives it more of a barbaric feel which is something they're going after. It's as if someone gave Conan the Barbarian lots of voice lessons.
Speaking of Conan, the Robert E. Howard fans should be pleased with their tribute to the great author. Aside from the obvious sword-and-sorcery songs, not to mention their name, they write songs directly from the Conan mythologies aptly titled "Mountain of Crom" and "Cimmerian's Blues." Within minutes you should be slurring your words together like Arnold and start making grunting sound, although I'm sure many of you already do. And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, then you need to reconsider your life. A nice cover of Cirith Ungol's "War Eternal" is also featured, Cirith Ungol purists might disagree but they do a decent job fitting it to their style.
This is probably not an album for the masses as not many are attracted to the whole swords-and-sorcery factor, but I would certainly recommend this to any fan of epic metal such as Heavy Load, Manowar, Cirith Ungol, and the like. The production doesn't have much spit and polish to it, giving it a more old school and warm feel. It's raw and real, it's no namby-pamby wussy band. I think the only thing that would really set someone off would be the vocals, they're different and not what many would be used to. However, it's a good, epic piece of heavy metal music. Not bad for a bunch of Mid-Western barbarians.