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A solid start to an eventful career - 70%

Doomrock, February 15th, 2006

As we all know, the important Steeler self titled album was a landmark, notsomuch as in the music as in the start of the legendary Shrapnel label and the debut of a Scandinavian guitar virtuoso we'll just call Yngwie.

The album itself is interesting, with future country musician Ron ("Lee") Keel as the frontman and unheralded Mark Edwards on drums and Rik Fox on bass. The music is decent, performed in a style that would become more popular in the mainstream as the decade unfolded. The songs aren't quite AS light as the diet metal fare that dominated the airwaves (and tainted heavy metal music with an image it is still desperately trying to shake) but it's a starting reference point.

A definite highlight is the song "Hot On Your Heels", which is mostly notable for an extended Malmsteen solo that I consider among his best, and the rest of the song being one of the stronger tracks on display here. The songwriting is decent, but the major detriment being Ron Keel's mediocre and unmemorable vocal performance.

For a band named after a famous Judas Priest song, don't expect a similar sound here. Though the album is remembered more as a historical document than a metal record, it's worth picking up for Malmsteen diehards and people looking for an enjoyable lite-metal romp. Headbang away, just as long as your metalhead friends aren't watching.