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Lovell's Blade - Stone Cold Steel

Lovell's Blade
Stone Cold Steel
by Gabriel “Svrtr” Zimmerman at 29 March 2017, 8:30 AM

Fans of classic heavy metal rejoice, for LOVELL’S BLADE has released its first album, “Stone Cold Steel.” Formed from former members of the Dutch metal act PICTURE with Peter Lovell, Andre Wullems, and Mike Ferguson, the act does well to draw on influences on the past and is likely to sit well in the hearts and headphones of fans of classic metal acts from the late 20th century. In fact, if one did not know better LOVELL’S BLADE could almost be confused to have existed in the time of these acts with their overall sound and the lyrics and titles of their songs. Without further ado I will dive right in.

Opening with “Legend in a Day”, it has all the makings of a classic metal song. A catchy mantra, a solid riff, a kind of more relaxed guitar beat, and (and I do not mean this negatively) quite a bit of repetition of sounds with lyrics that are your standard 80s metal lyrics (when said 80s lyrics aren’t about love). What this song also includes is a quite appealing guitar solo that fans beyond this genre can enjoy, and almost seems out of place in a song like this. Not in a negative way as the solo is quite good, but it sounds like it could easily lie in a different subgenre influenced by more classic heavy metal acts. Regardless, the song does well to establish what you can expect of the album. Following this is “Dynamite”, which is the type of song one can easily imagine being played along with the montage of a trucker on the road. Featuring a riff that screams diesel 18 wheeler and prominent bass use, with a guitar solo to match the tune of the riff, the song is again the type of song one can easily get into if a fan of the genre and has the same catchy tune that one could say marks the genre.

Next up is “Rollin’ On”, which again exemplifies the album as a whole. However, here there is better use of varying verses and song structure to help break up a sense of monotony one could get after listening for a while. I am quite a fan of the guitar solo here though, which, while easily can be argued to sound like a somewhat stereotypical 80s classic metal guitar solo, is well made. In fact, I would argue the same but it does not sound monotonous nor like it was ripped off and works in favor of the album for the fans who will enjoy it. Next song worth mentioning is “Devil’s Daughter”, the style of which is quite different than the previous songs. While still within the genre of classic metal, the vocal style and riffs vary quite a bit. Taking on a lower tone and a vocal style where the syllables match the notes of the riff in verses, with a seemingly more prominent lead guitar, the song is one I would more highly rate on the album. The solo is slowed down for one but the progression of it stands out better for me, but admittedly what I love most is the chorus. There is a melody in the chorus that pulls you in quite easily, and I must give props to Peter Lovell for the tone in which he does the chorus. It is one of those cases where any slight variance in tone during the chorus could change it massively for the worse, and I think the style in which it was done was exceptional for the song.

While “Devil’s Daughter” varied in style from the other songs, if it only varies then “Out For Blood” is nearly a completely different genre. Featuring a strong drum opening and containing more noticeable hardcore influences, this is likely my favorite song on the album. The guitar solo is especially well done here, and is also almost certainly the most technically complex one on the album. My only complaint is the fact that it is the shortest song on the album. This song will definitely appeal to the fans who also quite enjoyed the rising thrash metal of the 80s that rose when classic metal was still near its height. Finally I will close with “Rise and Fall”, whose beat kind of seems to fall into a “Eye of the Tiger” esque sound in the verses. During the chorus, I must admit the song feels kind of bland. The chorus never manages to catch your ear and feels stale and uninspired. One thing I do quite love about the song, however, is the guitar riffs that are played in sync with a soldier march that can be heard between the first chorus and the guitar solo, and I must still also give props to the solo. As before, the progression of it is done extremely well, and it creates a great sound even if it is not the most technically complex. Overall though, this song has a great solo and bridge but the chorus and verses fall a bit flat.

Honestly, my only complaint for the album is that it so exemplifies the genre it is aiming for, which is both positive and negative. It sometimes feel unoriginal because of it but ultimately it will be popular in the demographic the music was made for. Anyone who is a big fan of classic metal should listen to this band as soon as they can and look out for future releases from them.

Songwriting 8
Originality 6
Memorability 7
Production 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1 - Legend In A Day
2 - Dynamite
3 - Rollin’ In
4 - Devil’s Daughter
5 - Nothin’ to Lose
6 - Out for Blood
7 - Into the Sun
8 - Rise and Fall
9 - Inside Out
10  - As Much as I can
Lineup:
Pete Lovell - Vocals
Andre Wullems - Guitar
Mike Ferguson - Guitar
Noel Eersel - Drummer
Patrick Velis - Bass
Record Label: Divebomb Records
     


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Edited 14 December 2018
 

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