Review Summary: There was a time long ago…
When a couple of warriors from Memphis, Tennessee, formed a band named Medieval Steel. In 1984, Bobby Franklin (Vocals), John Ruth (guitar), Chuck Jones (guitar), Jeff Boydston (bass) and Bill Jones recorded their self-titled EP. Nowadays “Medieval Steel” EP is an unfurnished 80s jewel, mentioned as a great influence by many Heavy Metal acts.
After that, and with some changes to the band’s line up, they dominated the stages from Memphis to New York and the band stayed together until 1992, when they dissolved. All that time they kept playing live, but the beginning of the 90s was a very difficult period for Heavy Metal bands in United States and the slow development stage of Medieval Steel forced them to choose separate ways, until 2011, when Bobby Franklin reformed Medieval Steel and plans for a new record in 2013 are on the way.
The EP starts with the band’s self titled song. The main riff is quite simple but the chorus is one of the most inspired and catchy in the history of epic metal, demonstrating the powerful silky steel vocals of Bobby Franklin. Warlords is a groovy-heavy metal song, with great epic lyrics, that even Manowar would be jealous of. Not to mention that the riff of Warlords is just pure classic metal bliss, probably the best riff of the record. Echoes is a beautiful bluesy ballad that shows the songwriting skills of Medieval Steel. Battle Beyond the Stars -probably the best song of the EP, features a simple, though immortal style of traditional heavy metal, managing to take the listener a high quality trip back to '80s true metal glory that is Medieval Steel. Chuck Jones and John Ruth really shine in Battle Beyond The Stars, as they deliver the best solos of the EP.
The sound of this EP is mostly similar to Jag Panzer or Omen, but it does have a few traces of the sound that Queensryche and Crimson Glory would perfect in years to come. In a few words the music of Medieval Steel could be described as a riff-oriented style of traditional heavy metal with wailing vocals, catchy choruses, and the whole package.
In conclusion, what i learned from listening to heavy metal so far is that no matter how cool your music is, there is always one or two obscure, unknown bands from the '80s that are just as cool, just waiting to be discovered. Medieval Steel are not re-inventing any wheels, and they didn't do anything that hadn't already been done by a couple of other bands, but I see no reason why classic metal proprietors shy off this one. If you love heavy metal, then you will love this.