Steel Assassin War Of The Eight Plagues

Chances are that unless you followed Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre compilations back in the mid-’80s, you’ve never heard Steel Assassin. Based in the Boston area, the band were most active between 1983 and ’87 but never managed to record and release a proper full-length. In the 20 years since, the band made a few attempts to reform but things didn’t work out until they finally got their shit together in 2005 and did it right. The results, some 25 years after the members first joined forces, proves that for once the wait was definitely worth it. While listening to this album takes one back a few decades to when Iron Maiden and Jag Panzer ruled ghetto blasters, the band have updated their power metal style in such a way that this doesn’t sound like a cheap throwback. The new version of the band features four-fifths of the original line-up — only vocalist John Falzone isn’t an original member — and they know their metal inside and out. Falzone sounds like a cross between Jag Panzer’s Harry "the Tyrant” Conklin and Anthrax’s John Bush in his prime. His delivery is spot on throughout, as is the music. Songs like "Hill of Crosses” and "Hawkwood” are instant classics that will have even the most jaded old school metal fan taking notes. (Sentinel Steel)