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ColdSteel - 20 Years NY Thrash The Demo Anthology

20 Years NY Thrash The Demo Anthology
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 August 2012, 6:12 PM

Right before Thrash Metal succumbed to its first relapse slightly after the early 90s (meaning around 1994), there were a few Thrash bands that still had something say about their surroundings and their music attacked accordingly. The last major remnant of this band from Long Island, New York, named COLDSTEEL, was its debut album traced back to 1992 named “Freakboy”. Prior to the release of this album that signalled the end of a road and another milestone in the fall of Thrash Metal to invasion and empowerment of Hardcore and Grunge, COLDSTEEL, which began its creative activities in the mid 80s, released three promising demos that demonstrated the unison between NY style Thrash in the vein of ANTHRAX, loosen funky and progressive elements of MORDRED (Without the sampling of course) and the slight proggy features of REANIMATOR along with Bay Area assaults in the areas of TESTAMENT, SLAYER, METALLICA and EXODUS.

Does it sound perfect to you or what? Well it could have been something else I am sure of it, but fat lady luck didn’t find the time to stick around with this crew for that long period of time. For the celebration of 20 years anniversary for “Freakboy”, the band, through Stormspell Records, released in a single pack its early pieces of history, the joining of their three demo releases under the same name, “20 Years NY Thrash The Demo Anthology”. I think it was an incredible and important decision for all the new Metalheads, and Thrashers in particular, to be witness to a varied form of Thrash that could have been classic.

The first thing that I have to commemorate is the amazing work on the remastering work on the early demos, especially the “Dead By Dawn” and “Perfect Peace” demos. “Scarred For Life” sounded ok but at least clearer than the original version released in 1988. What I liked about this Anthology that it was ordered more or less according to the timetable when those demos where released. It can be inferred that there had been a stage of development all the years of their early existence, but in general, COLDSTEEL didn’t seem to surrender to what their local scene was coming to. Iconic examples like the classic “Dead By Dawn”, “Crackdown”, “New World” and “Perfect Peace” substantiated the richness of the New York style of Thrash that also harbored a few aspects of Punk / Hardcore, groove but also exploits of great traditional 80s Speed / Heavy Metal. I might add the bass work was truly rough but amazing while the vocals twisted between Belladonna and King Diamond (probably that is the reason why the vocalist have or had a tribute band for the King). “Hazardous (To Your Health)“, “Truth Or Dare?“ and “Scarred for Life” display the countenance of COLDSTEEL, straightforward Thrash Metal but with bits of astuteness, slashing classic styled riffing and raspy toned vocals and definitive gang backing vocals.

This demo compilation reasserted the status of this band. Though the younger generation doesn’t have a clue about these guys, this release will help them out to open their mind. I also perceive that “20 Years NY Thrash The Demo Anthology”is a sort of a reminding prologue to what the band has in store of its reunion and that is a new EP named “America Idle”. It would be interesting to see if COLDSTEEL would be able to once again play in the same pattern as they did in their promising past.

4 Star Rating

1. Crackdown
2. Pleasant Dreams
3. Dead by Dawn
4. Smashed! 7
5. Scarred for Life
6. Madness Overthrown
7. Truth Or Dare?
8. New World
9. Perfect Peace
10. DSM
11. Hazardous (To Your Health) 
Troy Norr– Vocals
Ave Casas– Guitars
Joe Shavel– Guitars
Greg Hock– Bass
Dom Mincieli- Drums
Rob Napolitano- Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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Edited 21 March 2023

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