STEELWING - Zone of Alienation CD
Noiseart Records / Nuclear Blast
Genre: Classic Heavy Metal
Here we have some more Swedes bursting out like it's 1980 again featuring great vocals by Riley (yes he can scream) as well as a twin guitar attack. Yes they sound like JUDAS PRIEST in many ways, albeit the early version. You could also name drop METAL CHURCH as well. This thing bleeds denim, leather and you can toss in the spandex as well. Zone of Alienation is STEELWING's second full length. Their first one, Lord of the Wasteland, came out in 2010 which is when I predicted that the next big revival was going to be old school metal. Now how long this wave will last I don't really know. As long as bands put out these flawless releases then who knows?
Well I wouldn't call this one perfection since all of the tracks on here are NWOBHM classics except for one. Then again it just follows the 80's metal template to include a fuckin ballad. On here it's the song “Breathless” which could be looked upon as a flaw or something to skip over. Then again it could be the band's way of being truly authentic. Add to that the power of cuts like “Tokkotai" (Wind of Fury) which seems to be the obligatory wave to Japan cut which some acts did back in the day and now it's being repeated. After the instro opener "2097 A.D." things kick in with the galloping "Solar Wind Riders". As I said except for the ballad everything on here is cool.
Another important highlight which I have to mention is the last two cuts, out of nine, on here. “They Came From the Skies” is an instrumental which adds some older MAIDEN structure to this release. It's something which I thought was missing on the first part of this release. Although it doesn't stop there since the last cut, "Lunacy Rising", is an epic and long (slightly over ten minutes) journey with plenty of MAIDEN twin guitar theatrics. The bottom line is that if bands like ENFORCER and IN SOLITUDE got you raising your fist in horned salute then so will STEELWING.