Rating:
N/A
Steelwing - Zone Of Alienation
6 January 2012


01. 2097 A.D.
02. Solar Wind Riders
03. Full Speed Ahead!
04. Breathless
05. Tokkotai (Wind Of Fury)
06. Zone Of Alienation
07. The Running Man
08. They Came From The Skies
09. Lunacy Rising
10. 2097 A.D. [Extended cut version] [Limited edition digipak bonus]
11. Hit 'Em Hard [2010 demo version]


Rating in words: appropriately nostalgic, suitable for rocking out in a ridiculous fashion.

Steelwing, Steelwing, how happy you make me. They were one of the supporting bands on a Sabaton tour in late 2010 which had Belgrade as one of the dates, and friends of mine who went to the show have spent a good chunk of 2011 trying to persuade me to check them out. And I stubbornly ignored their suggestions for some stupid reason. When I finally gave a listen to Steelwing's debut, I thought: "This type of decent band usually screws up on the second album and fades into obscurity, never to issue anything good again."

I'm glad to say I was wrong.

Firstly, if you dislike everything Iron Maiden released in the 80's, avoid this like the plague (and probably turn yourself in to the police too, because you're the type of person that hates cute baby animals, you FREAK). Secondly, don't think it's pure Maiden-worship with no redeeming qualities that will make you pause it and play Powerslave instead. Listening to Zone Of Alienation only makes you crave more Zone Of Alienation.

Retro metal-playing bands, this is how it's done. Wearing your influences on your sleeve does not equal being unoriginal and not inspired, playing an old style doesn't mean it can't sound youthful and vibrant. The performance is pretty tight (I'm going to steal Lyrinan's "tighter than the band's jeans" expression here), especially Riley's vocals which show signs of great improvement, but the band's greatest "magnet" is their composing abilities. Everything is made to sing along and air-guitar to, everything is fast, everything is cheerful, and when the band goes into ballad mode ("Breathless") it still rocks.

Writing reviews like these is hard, because, while I know that this isn't everyone's cup of tea, I'm pretty sure it has that universal metal spirit and enough quality to appeal to a lot of metalheads if it's promoted in the right way. The only question is whether enough dudes and dudettes will decide that a revamp of 80's metal is worth their time or will they just listen to their old records over and over again? If you still aren't convinced, head to their Youtube channel for some samples. If it doesn't make you smile - too bad, you're missing out.


Band profile: Steelwing
Album: Zone Of Alienation


 



Written on 02.02.2012 by
Milena
A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.
More reviews by Milena ››



Comments

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strade - 02.02.2012 at 07:39  
Awesome album and awesome review, Mora. Pretty much reflects its nature perfectly.
maged918 - 02.02.2012 at 08:12  
Excellent album , like really excellent.
R'Vannith - 02.02.2012 at 10:30  
Sounds like fun to me, I'll be checking this out.
Milena - 02.02.2012 at 15:06  
Written by R'Vannith on 02.02.2012 at 10:30

Sounds like fun to me, I'll be checking this out.

You should, they're pretty cool.

Thanks for the comments guys! I'm afraid this review isn't very descriptive but I found it very hard to describe a sound that is familiar to everyone.
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.02.2012 at 18:52  
They are great fun, especially live. But SkullFist is even more fun
silenius - 02.02.2012 at 22:36  
I don´t hate baby animals! Being one of those freaks not finding anything fun in iron maiden i still found this to be quite awesome^^
Milena - 02.02.2012 at 22:45  
Written by silenius on 02.02.2012 at 22:36

I don´t hate baby animals! Being one of those freaks not finding anything fun in iron maiden i still found this to be quite awesome^^

Ah, knew a comment like that will appear in the thread I believe the dudes from Steelwing would be flattered if they heard that. Enjoy your album, I know I do.
RavenKing - 03.02.2012 at 00:51  
I like baby animals too much to torture their ears with that kind of outdated crap.
Traditional Heavy Metal needs to die.
Silver Soul - 03.02.2012 at 03:31  
Sounds awesome. Definitely checking it out.

"Firstly, if you dislike everything Iron Maiden released in the 80's, avoid this like the plague (and probably turn yourself in to the police too, because you're the type of person that hates cute baby animals, you FREAK)."
Amen.
Arcticus - 03.02.2012 at 21:27  
Written by RavenKing on 03.02.2012 at 00:51

I like baby animals too much to torture their ears with that kind of outdated crap.
Traditional Heavy Metal needs to die.

Is it really so hard to accept that a lot of people still have a healthy appreciation for traditional heavy metal? And not just the old school rockers clinging to their cherished memories, but the hordes of younger fans that discover Iron Maiden (or whoever!) for the first time and love it just as much? Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of new stuff as well (I'm only 26), various stylistic evolutions etc, but there's still much to be said for rocking the fuck out - just because you feel something is past its expiry doesn't mean other people can't enjoy it. Live and let live - stop being such a cynical little bastard!

Also, I think it would be fair to say that any type of music, played at an adequate volume, would be considered torture towards baby animals.

Back on topic, this album sounds awesome, and the review was very well-written. I look forward to checking it out!
Fat & Sassy! - 04.02.2012 at 05:42  
"... and when the band goes into ballad mode ("Breathless") it still rocks."

This album is 89% rock-solid heavy metal. The other 11% of the album is the song, Breathless. >:[
tea[m]ster - 04.02.2012 at 07:33  
Tried it...ugh...felt like sitting in the dentist chair without Novocaine...sorry Mora
Milena - 04.02.2012 at 12:02  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 04.02.2012 at 05:42

"... and when the band goes into ballad mode ("Breathless") it still rocks."

This album is 89% rock-solid heavy metal. The other 11% of the album is the song, Breathless. >:[

I love that song. Have you never listened to silly glam when you were a kid?
Milena - 04.02.2012 at 12:07  
Written by Arcticus on 03.02.2012 at 21:27

Written by RavenKing on 03.02.2012 at 00:51

I like baby animals too much to torture their ears with that kind of outdated crap.
Traditional Heavy Metal needs to die.

Is it really so hard to accept that a lot of people still have a healthy appreciation for traditional heavy metal? And not just the old school rockers clinging to their cherished memories, but the hordes of younger fans that discover Iron Maiden (or whoever!) for the first time and love it just as much? Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of new stuff as well (I'm only 26), various stylistic evolutions etc, but there's still much to be said for rocking the fuck out - just because you feel something is past its expiry doesn't mean other people can't enjoy it. Live and let live - stop being such a cynical little bastard!

Also, I think it would be fair to say that any type of music, played at an adequate volume, would be considered torture towards baby animals.

Back on topic, this album sounds awesome, and the review was very well-written. I look forward to checking it out!

I was just suggesting that the person who has the heart to hate music such as 80's Iron Maiden also hates baby animals... it was a bit of a joke of course, I know plenty of non-metalheads who squeal at the sight of internet kittens and such.

Anyway, RavenKing has a firm stance against these forms of revivalist metal, he thinks they're redundant, so you've just prepared a long-winded response for yourself But I'd suggest dropping the debate all together, since you two obviously don't agree, so it's a bit pointless.
Stalker - 04.02.2012 at 17:24  
Never listened to the band before, but this review definitely made me curious.
Milena - 04.02.2012 at 17:28  
Written by Stalker on 04.02.2012 at 17:24

Never listened to the band before, but this review definitely made me curious.

That's the purpose of positive reviews I guess can't guarantee you'll like it, but this was a very fun release for me and a couple of others.
Fat & Sassy! - 04.02.2012 at 21:41  
Written by Milena on 04.02.2012 at 12:02

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 04.02.2012 at 05:42

"... and when the band goes into ballad mode ("Breathless") it still rocks."

This album is 89% rock-solid heavy metal. The other 11% of the album is the song, Breathless. >:[

I love that song. Have you never listened to silly glam when you were a kid?


uuuhhhhhhh... nope! x3 I've always had a pretty strong distaste for hair rock or whatever-the-fuck Sebastian Bach is doing nowadays.
Milena - 04.02.2012 at 22:25  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 04.02.2012 at 21:41

uuuhhhhhhh... nope! x3 I've always had a pretty strong distaste for hair rock or whatever-the-fuck Sebastian Bach is doing nowadays.

Well. There was Motley Crue and Poison and Warrant and all that bullshit. But then there was silly glam I actually liked back when I listened to it. This song reminded me of it.
Daggon - 05.04.2013 at 10:03  
Totally agree with your review, it is a nice retrospective album with a great touch of youthful musicianship and songwriting.

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