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Steelmade - 'Love Or A Lie' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f6/a3/29/steelmade-love-or-a-lie-46-1483992640.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 09, 2017    
 
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Ultimately a Jack-of-all-styles, master-of-none record.

Although their name sounds like a well-known, grammatically challenged Jedi Master describing Krypton's favourite son ("Steelmade, he is"), the patchy debut from this Swiss four-piece is more diverse and intriguing than their one dimensional, somewhat lumpen, moniker suggests.

'Love Or A Lie' offers what can loosely be described as a backbone of Modern Metal and Alternative Rock, with 'Even Gods Have Enemies' and 'Silent Cries' built around prowling nineties Metallica riffs underpinned by the Funky bass and helium-high vocals of Faith No More. Even that summation feels somewhat reductive though, as the guys throw a number of other shapes into their moody aesthetic.

Symphonic Metal harmonies glide beneath 'Revolution' – replete with Classical piano intro – and the Within Temptation-like strains of 'Killing Me', there's a sheen of Industrial Electronica on 'Stay' and guy-gal duet 'Sweet Lady' is a surprisingly crisp Jazzy-Pop swinger with carefree whistling and a seductive refrain. That quirky side also rears its head on 'We Are Bizarre' – think Pantera's 'Walk' played by nineties post-Grungers Moist – while the title-track delivers full-blooded Arena Rock and the record's most rousing hook.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It's laudable to be this eclectic if you have the chops and character to pull it off, but at present Steelmade's ambition outstrips their song-writing ability. Bouncing all over the musical map results in a lack of focus and development of musical personality, leaving many tracks feeling emotionally sterile and in need of refinement.

'Desire And Love', for example, purrs like a galloping panther with a defiant riff, but finishes so abruptly it's like they've fallen asleep halfway through. Likewise, too many choruses come across as lazy afterthoughts, falling flat and failing to pay off their songs with the requisite impact and passion.

'Love Or A Lie' is ultimately a Jack-of-all-styles, master-of-none record. Aside from the tepid balladry of 'Without Love' there's no absolute stinkers here. Most songs offer the genesis of a good idea and – particularly on closing instrumental 'Edda' – exhibit some fine musicianship. But for the time being Steelmade need to realise less is more and concentrate on writing great songs with a clearly defined identity and direction. Walk before you can run, as they say.

Simon Ramsay

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