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Rising Steel – Beyond the Gates of Hell

Rising Steel
Beyond the Gates of Hell
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 06 February 2023, 2:51 PM

Formed in 2012 in Grenoble, France, the hard rock/thrash band RISING STEEL are back with their third full length studio album “Beyond the Gates of Hell” released on November 18, 2022. Since I was not familiar with their previous work, I had to rely on my old friends GOOGLE and the  bands website. They released their debut EP “Warlord” in 2014 and following up with two full length albums “Return of the Warlord” and “Fight them All”. With the aid of Swedish legends Rickard Bengsston and Staffan Karlson (ARCH EMENY, MESHUGGAH) to work again on the studio mix to polish their classic heavy metal sound. The bands website draws similarities to SAXON, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and ACCEPT. Those bold comparisons and a kick-ass hellish looking album artwork has me raring to go.

Opening up with a barrage of fire and brimstone on “Beyond the Gates of Hell”  with an onslaught of darkened riffs, pounding backdrop setting the pace before gritty, wiry vocals join the party. Track two “From the Darkness” even though in the same vein as the opening song, is a more sinister sound with low-keyed tempo driven by guttural vocals portraying a demonized musical storyline. There is the definite presence of SAXON in both songs so far especially in the singing. “Life Awaits” is a roller coaster ride of tempo and melody twists and turns with an underscore of clean and deepened vocals. The first real blend of metal and thrash appears in “Infinite Pain”, with a slow paced, drum heavy intro gallops into an infusion of heavy-duty riffs over mix of talking, clean and gruff vocals ending all knotted together nicely with a fervent guitar solo. If I had to select my favorite track, I’d go with “My Burning Time”, although it parallels the majority of the album, it has a certain bad-ass attitude with in-your face taunting vocals over a deep penetrating riff.

“Beyond the Gates of Hell” is …..frustrating. They definitely bleed metal with pummeling riffs, relentless rhythms  and plangent vocals, but they just lacked variety, track one could be track four, track six could be track two, I think you see where I’m headed with this.
If SAXON were a TV soap opera, they would cast RISING STEEL as their evil twin. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good, I just needed something more, I think they could have explicated themselves better.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production : 7

3 Star Rating

1. Beyond The Gates Of Hell
2. From Darkness
3. Life Awaits
4. Death Of A Vampire
5. Run For Your Life
6. Infinite Pain
7. Skullcrusher
8. My Burning Time
9. Beast
10. We Are Free
Stone Warrior – bass
Steel Zard – drums
Tony Riffman – guitar
Emmanuelson - vocals
Stephane Rabilloud - guitar
Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL


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