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Lethal Steel - Running From the Dawn

Lethal Steel
Running From the Dawn
by Emily Schneider at 30 March 2020, 10:57 PM

EPs are like the movie trailers of the music world. They give you but just a taste, a small glimpse of what is bound to entertain you. It's something unusual when your first exposure to a band is an in-between albums EP. That was the case for me with the Swedish band LETHAL STEEL. Their 4-track EP “Running From the Dawn” comes out on March 27th and it's a cool blast from the past for fans of bands considered the “roots” of Heavy Metal like QUARTZ with bits from JUDAS PRIEST.

“Weekday Refugee” begins with an ambient setting. There's this quaint acoustic guitar and a soft rain-like percussion. Then about a minute into the track, the electric guitars kick in but it never takes off full speed ahead and stays pretty mellow. While a down-tempo track seems odd as an opening song, there's this feeling of familiarity to this song that draws you in. It makes it a fitting first song on this EP. “Stay Away” picks up the pace. I really enjoyed the vocal style in this track. The overall feel and melodic quality was like a blend of BLACK SABBATH and BLUE CHEER with some added zest that you can bob your head along to. “Ge Allt” is the Swedish track on the album and it starts with a great 80s metal riff. This one was speedy, very moshpit worthy and the words were sang just as quickly. It's always cool to hear songs in languages other than English; some bands call it risky, but I personally enjoy them. You don't have to understand what the lyrics are saying to enjoy a great song after all. “City of Sin” has some storytelling in the lyrics. (my weakness!) This one also has an excellent solo with some great melodic and shred moments. You can imagine the Las Vegas strip with a hazy overlay, followed by some smoky bars and some shabby spaces in between as the song progresses.

Overall, I wasn't sure what to expect from LETHAL STEEL. The simple descriptor of Heavy Metal sends any music enthusiast's brain all over the place on what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard, an excellent homage to the origins of Metal with bits that kept it feeling new. There was definitely a 70s vibe to this album from the mixing; it sounds tailor made to be listened to on vinyl. I also really liked Viktor's vocal style, his tone is quite lovely, but it wasn't flowery or melodramatic. The guitars were also excellent, there was a newer feel to the guitar solos that helped this album from sounding like a retro ripoff. Honestly, my only complaint was that it's an EP and this taste of what the band sounds like left me wanting more. I'll certainly be on the lookout for their next full album, whenever that may be.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Weekday Refugee
2. Stay Away
3. Ge Allt
4. City Of Sin
Lineup:
Viktor Gustafsson - Vocals
Isak Rosemarin - Lead Guitar
Valentin Papp - Rhythm Guitar
Totte Thyrhaug - Bass
Leo Ekström - Drums
Record Label: High Roller Records
     


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