Here’s a band from London, UK and calling themselves Shaft Of Steel.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Shaft Of Steel
ALBUM: Steel Heartbeat
LABEL: AOR Heaven
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Robert Fenning – vocals * Alex Markham – guitar * Adam Carruthers – guitar * Dominic Swords – bass * Chris Smurthwaite – keyboards * Michael Levy – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Touching You Every Day * 02 I’ve Never Been Alone (With A Girl Like You Before) * 03 All Because Of You * 04 Together As One Tonight * 05 Vulnerable Man * 06 Falling Through The Flames * 07 Body And Mind * 08 Lucky Girl * 09 You See Smoke When I See Fire * 10 Every Time I Look At You
WEBLINKS: Site Link
AOR Heaven bring forth another new band to their roster, these blokes coming at us from London, UK and calling themselves Shaft Of Steel. Well, they are not exactly new, they actually released their debut album back in 2014 as a self-released effort.
I’m not so certain about the band name, nor the album-title for that matter. For pure heavy metal fans who maybe thinking this is the next best Swedish or German HM band, we all hope you do your homework beforehand, otherwise your ears will cringe when the mistakenly identified CD of melodia turns up in the post. Lol.
Seriously, these boys are all about the best melodic exponents and influences that a band can bring to their resume and press release for this album. But don’t they all do that? Throw names like Giant, Survivor and Journey into the ring and see if any of it sticks. Most of the time it doesn’t, but hey, great way to capture an audience.
This was the case with a British band back in 1995 called Vital Escape. They threw all sorts of names into their PR hat that inevitably sounded like none of them. In the wash up, we never heard from them again.
However, what’s apparent is that Shaft Of Steel definitely have something to offer. It’s a bit different musically but certainly as I’m listening to this, it becomes abundantly clear. ‘Touching You Every Day’ is an energetic opener and jumps around a bit in terms of style and delivery. Still I got into it without an issue. The OTT guitar work is in stark contrast to the overly melodic approach.
Yes, it’s a very long song-title, but ‘I’ve Never Been Alone (With A Girl Like You Before)’ cuts through the slack like a hot knife through butter. I think will sound better when turned up loud, though trying to sing the chorus might prove to be a gobful. Listening to the synth wok on ‘All Because Of You’ convinced me that it was Didge Digital playing all those fanciful ivories. It’s a pretty rich listening experience all round.
‘Together As One Tonight’ with its racy guitars strikes as one of the appealing tracks here from the get-go. It gathers momentum through its run-time, and by solo time the cork is ready to explode. ‘Vulnerable Man’ drops into mid-tempo mode, its not quite ballad territory because the guitars are kept busy throughout.
‘Falling Through The Flames’ is one track that didn’t hit the mark. Musically it’s OK, but the lyrics and vocals were a bit overstretched, and the chorus went missing. ‘Body And Mind’ is the album’s true ballad moment, but as I usually do with albums such as this, I hit the forward button. The FM (UK) comparison hits home on ‘Lucky Girl’, even if the tempo is a bit all over the place.
‘You See Smoke When I See Fire’ and ‘Every Time I Look At You’ as a pairing completes the album, both are licorice all-sorts tracks, neither aren’t quite sure what they want to be. Part power ballad, part mid rocker?
Musically the band don’t sound as British as you’d expect. To these trained ears I am reminded of a band like Captive Heart from the 90’s coupled with FM (UK) from their 80’s era. The keyboard work is lovely and tinkly while the guitar playing gets a little wild on the solos, which is all fine by me.
This is a fun listen, it’s not an immediate experience and nor will it smack you between the eyes, but I will say it’s guaranteed to grow on you after a few plays. It definitely did for me. A surprisingly entertaining set from Shaft Of Steel. It does have a few flaws, but nothing is perfect in this world.
I’ve Never Been Alone (With A Girl Like You Before)
Touching You Everyday