TOLEDO STEEL play traditional metal in a traditional style with great results. Whilst the band themselves describe their music as New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal there is more than a whiff of New Wave of British Heavy Metal and in particular the influence of Iron Maiden.
Hailing from that well-known hotbed of UK metal, Southampton (not really) they’ve been plying their trade since 2011.
With Rich Rutter on vocals, Tom Potter on guitar, Felix Dock on bass and Matt Dobson on drums Toledo Steel have been a constant touring force throughout Europe since their formation.
I first encountered the band in 2017 at BroFest #5 in Newcastle, UK where they occupied a tricky early slot. The performance was outstanding and it was a memorable spandex spectacular.
With three releases under their belts, The First Strike of Steel is actually an amalgamation of 2013’s self-titled EP and 2015’s Zero Hour.
With opening track “Alcatraz”, who doesn’t love the sound of an air raid siren to start an album? Cliche? Maybe, but I’m not interested in negativity.
As mentioned, Iron Maiden are heavily influential and there are tropes littered all over. There are galloping riffs, long runs prior to a solo plus quieter moments before an explosion of action. All of which I buy into in a big way.
There is a no more Maiden-esque track than “Flames Arise”. Romping rhythm with a solo which could have come straight off Piece of Mind, and I love it.
All the tracks are metal killers with everything a true metalhead would want. Cracking riffs, great rhythm, extended solos and powerful vocals.
Rich Rutter has the perfect voice for this traditional style of music. It is rough around the edges but with a pure heart and when bollocks are required he duly delivers.
At 41 minutes the album flashes by in a whizz, and a thoroughly enjoyable experience it is too.
All killer, no filler
I get the feeling that this release is a filler whilst an album of new material is prepared. If it lives up to The First Strike of Steel then we’re in for a treat. The album is out May 15 on Dissonance Records.
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Sparky