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Steel Arctus – Master of War

Steel Arctus
Master of War
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 November 2022, 2:28 PM

From their EPK, “STEEL ARCTUS is a Heavy/Epic Metal band from Greece founded by Nash G. in 2020.  The new album “Master of War” was released on October 7th under Valve Studio Records. It contains 10 crushing Heavy/Epic Metal tracks with catchy choruses and heavy guitar riffs. On this album, the band faces dark forces on the kingdom of Hades, but also faces himself. The new album bleeds pure heavy metal from screaming vocals to thunderous battle anthems!” The album has nine songs.

The title track is the first. Tasos shows the power and range in his voice from the first few notes, and the music is NWOBHM influenced. The notes he hits are impossibly high, and the music is rich in backing support. The entire song definitely has an epic feeling to it. “Midnight Priest” has some Power Metal aspects to this mid-tempo rocker. The vocal harmonies are nicely done as well, and the chorus is packed full of melodies. “Flames of Hades” is darker song, as the title would suggest. The main riff comes chugging in with audible bass notes and the vocals are tense and snarly. This is a war anthem charge with well-rounded backing elements.

“God of Fire” if a faster-moving song with a raucous riff and again favoring the unreal range of singer Tasos Lazaris. The notes he reaches almost seem too high to comprehend, and he sings with an unbounding energy. “Cry for Redemption” has a slower pace to it, and even some Folky elements from the recorder. Some fantastic leads round out the sound as well. “Hear My Battlecry” is a slower grind of powerful riffs and bass notes, combined again with the pipes of the front man. You can hear some IRON MAIDEN influence in the twin-guitar harmonies that the band made so famous back in the day. “Black Mountains” is a more introspective song opening with some clean guitars and pensive, emotive vocals. I like the trade-off between that sounds and the all-out power in the chorus.

“Nekyia” closes the album; a short instrumental which ties the themes together with a melancholic feeling. Two thing that this Power/NWOBHM influenced album has going for it is the crystal clear vocal range of singer Tasos Lazaris, which is simply stunning, and an unbridled energy from the band. You can tell that they are confident in the songwriting, and believe fully in the themes of battles, war, and how to overcome them. Although these are riffs that you have heard before, they infuse a lot of energy into them.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Master of War
2. Midnight Priest
3. Flames of Hades
4. God of Fire
5. Cry for Redemption
6.  Glorious Days
7. Hear My Battlecry
8. Black Mountains
9. Nekyia (Νέκυια)
Lineup:
Tasos Lazaris – All Vocals
Nash G. – Guitars, Keys
Strutter – Bass, Keys
Xines – Drums
Record Label: Valve Studio Recordings
     


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