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No Steel on this Near-Flat Wheel - 57%

bayern, July 5th, 2020

I wasn’t probably going to be so overtly critical regarding the album here if that same team hadn’t produced this unforgettable underground gem of progressive power/thrash titled “Haunting Tales of a Warrior's Past” in the distant 1991, and one equally as spell-binding demo before it. Based on these two efforts, the band had all the rights to be considered one of the US (and not only) scene’s best kept secrets…

yes sure, if the guys hadn’t returned to the circuit in the new millennium with the appropriately-titled “Resurrection”. The thing is that this second instalment is just ordinary standard heavy/power metal; no progressive, no thrash, not much excitement to be generated from the pretty pedestrian delivery, not to mention a couple of plain cheesy poppy tunes. A big disappointment for me, and I’m sure other fans as well, as this was a very patchy sequel to a great first coming.

Right off the bat, there isn’t anyone named Matthias Steele in this band. The plus next: the vocals are the same as the ones from the early days, an excellent emotional clean tenor who tries his best to exonerate his comrades from coming up with this third charm, one that is even weaker and more embarrassing than the preceding outing. To make things worse, the guys have belatedly developed some unsavoury appetite for the groovy less melody-prone gimmicks from the previous decade, those showing up as stiff cumbersome chugs (the title-track, “World of Sin”), ruining otherwise decent officiant marchers like “My Pain” and “The Boatman”, or making inept attempts at stoner/doom like the instrumental piece “March of the Dead” sound even dodgier. Music-wise there’s one true light in the tunnel, ironically titled “No Solutions”, a vivid semi-galloper that also suggests at something more intricate, a sad echo of a much more impressive past repertoire.

I refuse to believe that the guys had completely depleted their creative pool with the debut; there must be something still left there for the production of at least an adequate follow-up to it… this unimaginative treading in the conventional power metal quagmire would hardly lead to anything. Not when you have short but enviable legacy to look up to, and a “steel” name to defend… the warrior’s past has to be resuscitated with more tales, haunting or not. And soon.