Review Summary: Witches and warlocks and dragon’s blood...
If you enjoy thrash metal and haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Germany’s Deathrow, you’re doing yourself quite the disservice. During their time as a band they released four solid albums, including the highly acclaimed and technically innovative Deception Ignored
in 1988. However, it was just one short year earlier they released one of their most overlooked and downright enjoyable albums, Raging Steel.
It may not be as technically groundbreaking as Deception Ignored
, but the album’s mythical themes and lightning speed riffs make it a release worth seeking out.
Fueled by an aggressive and distinct vocal performance, Raging Steel
is sure to please any fan of Teutonic thrash. My only complaint with the vocalist is he doesn’t have a whole lot of range on this album, but his voice fits the genre perfectly and every once in a while he lets out a terrifying screech. However, it’s the album’s fantasy themed lyrics that make it a rewarding listening experience . How can anybody not enjoy a song packed with solos and lyrics about warlocks and dragons? I’m of course referring to ‘Dragon’s Blood’. It’s an entire song dedicated to mythical creatures and the memorable lyrics make it one of the standouts on Raging Steel.
As captivating as the song is however, it’s the unexpected and slightly eerie clean vocals that create the perfect atmosphere to bring the song’s dragons to life.
Thankfully, ‘Dragon’s Blood' isn’t the only gem to be found here as the title track is easily the most relentless offering on the album. After an atompsheric instrumental opening the riffs come storming out of the gates on 'Raging Steel.' Once we hear an angry shriek the song kicks into full force with perhaps the most furious drumming on the album. Although not quite as technical as Deception Ignored
, the level of skill in the guitar playing and drumming is rather impressive. Other songs such as the fast-paced ‘Mortal Dread’ and ‘Beyond The Light’ contain some flashy guitar work, but unfortunately some of the songs sound a bit too similar.
At the end of the day, Raging Steel
isn’t a technical masterpiece or even a groundbreaking thrash album by any means, but it’s a damn good time. The musicianship is top-notch and the vocalist manages to stand out from the pack, if only slightly. The only real issue with the album is repetitiveness but it’s not enough to take away from the experience. Even if it’s just to check out the mythical ‘Dragon’s Blood’ or the epic ‘Raging Steel’, this album is definitely worth your time. It stands tall and proud as one of the most memorable and impressive releases in Deathrow’s career.