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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Steelwing - Reset, Reboot, Redeem

After almost four years since the release of Zone of Alienation (2012) comes the release of Reset, Reboot, Redeem, the highly anticipated third record of the Swedish heavy metal band Steelwing. The whole concept of a dystopian future remains, but where Lord of The Wasteland (2010) and Zone of Alienation were cartoonish, the new album takes a far more serious approach using a science fiction story with a interesting plot: the decadence of the humankind and its inevitable extinction to pave way for a trans-humanistic new breed.

The most important thing I noticed during the first hearing of the record is how different it is from its predecessors. The songs reflected very well the seriousness and maturity of the concept and there is also a broader spectrum of influences.

The dark intro Carbon Waste Lifeforms is soon followed by title track, Reboot, Redeem is also the single chosen to present the album and while I think it is a great, fast song, there were some songs like Ozymandias that would have done a greater job in getting the fans excited for the upcoming release. The song is clearly inspired in a sonnet written by English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley about the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II (Ozymandias was his Greek name). It is by far the best track in the entire “fuckin’” album. Mercyful Fate and King Diamond fans will be very pleased to hear such a masterpiece. The next song Och världen gav vika is a very curious one as it is sung in Swedish, but it is a good fast track nevertheless. Architects of Destruction is another great song and the mid-section has some speeches that fit well into the story. Like Shadows, Like Ghosts and the 7-minutes piece Hardwired keep the level high with great chorus and guitar work. We Are All Left Here to Die is an epic ending with over 9 minutes (Ozymandias and Architects of Destruction are both over 6 minutes long and that is another great difference compared to Zone of Alienation).

The line-up is still the same from their last album: Oskar Âstedt (drums), Robby Rockbag (guitar), Riley Ericson (vocals) Alex Vega (guitar), Nic Savage (bass) and of all them have done a great job here, but I must highlight how good Riley sounds here. The vocals are amazing, from the high register till the death metal growls that are much more present now. The production by the Swedish death metal legend Fred Estby (Necronaut, The Dagger, ex-Dismember) also deserves to be appreciated.

Excellent album and if you have not listened to it yet, go now and check Ozymandias.

Written by Anderson Tiago

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