Land of Oyr’s Epic Metal Reviews 4. Medieval Steel

Medieval Steel was first heard through their EP in 1984 a classic now album and with another demo release in 1989 they created many expectations but were lost for many years. Almost twenty years after they returned with some compilations releasing their older songs but with few new material. It would take another ten years for a new album to be made.

Dark Castle is a mature heavy-epic metal album that reintroduced them to the metal fans and they enjoy a great acceptance being true and old school heavy.

  1. Powersurge is the first song classic heavy metal riffs strong and clear bringing us memories of older better times in heavy metal. The lyrics are bordering post-apocalyptic madness of the power of machines.
  2. American War Machine is faster and its lyrics dealing with the american militarism being, in fact, an anti-military song against the injustice Empire over the planet.
  3. Circle of Fire is mid-tempo again with great riffs that deals with mind probing and self-improvement and leaves you with a yearning for magic!
  4. The Lost Quatrain is an instrumental song in classic guitar short and melodic with a recitation of four lines (as the name implies)
  5. The man who saw Tomorrow is a galloping riff power song mid-tempo with lyrics taking us into the realms of prophecy and unfolding future.
  6. Killing Fields is slower than the rest album so far a mourning song for a warrior that was left friendless and alone in the enemy’s face to die forsaken by all.
  7. Heaven Help Me is continuing the dark mood of the last song, slower and heavier with lyrics discussing the dead end all of us sooner or later will face and what we do when we are pushed too low.
  8. April is another sad song dealing with the theme of getting older and leaving your roots to explore the harsh world of adults, but still having a place to return when you are tired, a classic American metal ballad nice and bittersweet.
  9. Tyrant Overlord is a classic Medieval Steel it starts with Conan’s father (from the movie) advice and deals with the fights of the barbarian against the corrupted civilization the vocals are powerful and the music is lyrical more than epic.
  10. Stranger in Time is kind of progressive both in music and lyrics, it deals with future time travel and the change of the universe as time passes.
  11. Thou Shall not Kill is a darker song both in music and lyrics it starts with the biblical commandment and deals with creatures of night and undeath.

Overall i am not satisfied with the album they had left the classic epic themes and gone into social justice, science fiction and humanitarian themes. I much better prefer the earlier raw sound with the swords whistling and rage and wrath reigning supreme!

Now the interview with questions, answers and comments.

LoO: you are an epic metal band for more than thirty years, but your work is limited to few albums, you are a true underground band was it by choice or necessity?

We didn’t plan to be an underground band, it just happened. There were years where the band was dormant we couldn’t find the right players in this area.

Comment: i believe from now on the oblivion will ends and the era of true heavy metal will shine!

LoO: your lyrics are (among many things) about swords, fantasy battles and medieval living, do you like reenactment, anachronism, HEMA (historical European martial arts) or any other similar activities?

MS: I’m intrigued with the Medieval era, Vikings and battles. I almost feel like I lived in those times in another life.

Comment: we all want to escape our mundane lives of today to live lives of epic fantasy thats why we hear epic metal read epic books and train with swords.

LoO: What is the inspiration for your songs, do you read fantasy books or see films, what are the books you are currently reading and your favorite authors?

MS: I’m not a big reader. I do get inspiration from some movies but mostly I come up with a title I like and build a story around it.

Comment: i am a bit dissatisfied with this answer i like people who read allot…

LoO: you control the distribution of your own staff; do you believe that big record companies and true underground metal collide and are incompatible?

MS: I just believe these days you do not need a big record label all you need is major distribution and you can do it yourself but you need to have a good product.

Comment: we are behind you brother we don’t need big companies play metal and we will come to you!

LoO: dungeon tapes, brings in mind one of the iconic role-playing games are you familiar with “dungeon and dragons (D&D)” or any other rpg system?

MS: I’m not a gamer I’m old school

Comment: second dissatisfaction! i must one day show you how to roleplay you can’t play epic metal and don’t like Dungeons and Dragons!

LoO: you are an American band and had toured a lot mainly in Europe had differences do you in the cultures of the countries and cities you visit and how that affects your inspiration in general. US this period is facing unheard before disturbance and disobedience where do you think this situation will lead.

MS: Europe is more into out style and the US is more into the rap crap and pop. When we come back to the states after touring we mainly start writing and recording.

Comment: America has to reform or be forever damned come to stay in Europe forever brothers of metal!

LoO: you are recording your new album currently, anything you could confide in…

MS: Yes we are going back to the original sound like the EP more driving heavier rhythm based music

Comment: Going back in metal is progress nowadays!

LoO: you were in the “20th Keep it True” festival in Germany a few weeks ago, with a great crowd and many aspiring new and old legendary bands, do you believe we are living through a new comeback of epic metal?

MS: I truly hope so we can be a part of it

Comment: you are and we are together in this!

LoO: what is your opinion of NWOTHM (new wave of traditional heavy metal) was metal music into a quagmire and had to look back thirty years ago for new inspiration?

MS: I like some of the new wave metal and those guys had to go back thirty years for inspiration that’s fine all of us need to get it from somewhere

Comment: inspiration comes from the heart you just got to have one…

LoO: last question, plans for the future (your bands, of heavy metal, the planet or anything else!)

MS: Plans for Medieval Steel finish this new album Gods of Steel, tour again and we are already writing new songs for our next album called Inquisition

Comment: so we have another tour a new album and allot of epic metal what else do you want (maybe allot of beer and meat to come along!)

Thank you Medieval Steel for your help and support>

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