Steel Rhino – Steel Rhino

Steel Rhino Album Cover Art

Steel Rhino – Steel Rhino
GMR Music
Release Date: 20/08/2021
Running Time: 42:34
Review by Simon Black
8/10

Now this is an interesting project.

The name Steel Rhino evokes motes of New Wave of British Heavy Metal loudly and clearly and the music absolutely fits that mould, albeit with a good dollop of Melodic Hard Rock on top. Being the child of Swedish drummer Mikael Rosengren; hard, solid and heavy rhythms are the backbone of this three piece project. I say project as in ‘solo’ because the guitar and bass work is all the product of versatile session musician Filip Vilhemsson, with vocals supplied by the incredibly flexible Herbie Langhans. Flexible, in that every project this man contributes to, sounds like it may have been delivered by a completely different singer – such is his range. The only time I’ve seen him live, he was part of the Avantasia circus, where clean screams were more the order of the day, with the exception of his very Sisters of Mercy-esque solo spot on ‘Draconian Love’. This project sees him taking a totally different sounding rough and ready Rock ’n’ Roll turn on the mic which fits the tone of the project perfectly, being more akin to early Udo Dirkschneider in style, but whilst still giving him a few moments to scale up to the rafters and surprise you with the breadth of his vocal spectrum.

Opening with the anthemic and aptly titled ‘Rhino Attack’ this album fires high energy Traditional Metal with a rich and modern production sound. The songs could have been written in the early 1980’s, but the sound is very much of the moment. Not overtly technical in nature, but rich, fat and crisp with every contributor sounding clear in the mix and a cohesive overall band sound and feel to support it. I’m a great believer that a clear and distinct bass guitar in the mix is what truly gets heads nodding in the pit and bassist Vilhemsson clearly agrees and uses this to good effect, with that instrument tending to dominate over the guitar sound on many occasions. It works, as this album is all about the rhythms. Thundering, stampeding and unrelenting rhythms, straight out of the NWOBHM era, but not crazily speed obsessed as the sounds that followed it a few short years later. The song-writing focuses on catchiness with those solid rhythmic riffs laying the cornerstone of each song, but with good catch vocal and guitar melodies to keep an audience fist-pumping. I will be curious to see if this project ever gets the opportunity for a live outing, as these songs all feel like they would work really well in the flesh.

A cracking album, which deserves life beyond the confines of a studio project.

‘Boom Boom’ (Official Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rhino Attack
02. Arrival
03. Lovin’ Easy
04. Steel Rhino
05. Bells Of Midnight
06. Fire & Ice
07. Ghost From The Past
08. Sands Of Time
09. Life We Choose
10. Boom Boom
11. New Tomorrow

LINE-UP:
Mikael Rosengren – Drums
Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Filip Vilhemsson – Guitar, Bass

LINKS:

Steel Rhino Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Ice Age – Breaking The Ice

Ice Age - Breaking the ice

Ice Age – Breaking The Ice
GMR Music / Head First Entertainment
Release Date: 21/10/2017
Running Time: 45:05
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

Metal fans of a certain age may well recognise the name Ice Age as they have been around, on and off, since 1985.  Surprisingly, this band from Gothenburg, Sweden never released an album, just a couple of very well received demos. They have a long and potted history but now the band are back I’m going to concentrate on the debut album which they are finally releasing!

With a line-up that includes original members Sabrina Kihlstrand (vocals) and Viktoria Larsson (bass) and two new members Linnea Landstedt (guitars) and Andre Homqvist (drums), “Breaking The Ice” contains five re-recorded classic tracks from their 1980’s demos and five brand new songs! It’s like being on a mad roller coaster, the songs are fast and heavy, vocals are amazing and the music is full of twists and turns but their sound is worthy of any metal band around today.

Sabrina’s vocals are gravelly and intense, perfect for this type of raw metal and it’s a shame it’s taken them so long to release an album, because we have been deprived of their amazing music for far too long!

The whole of “Breaking The Ice” is a non-stop, raw metal pleasure (think early Megadeth / Annihilator with female vocals), the guitar playing is fast and loud, and with some crazy drumming Ice Age are the complete package. I would imagine an Ice Age concert would leave you exhausted but invigorated. There are not many bands that can keep you on the edge of your seat while just listening to their songs but this band certainly do that! One of my favourite tracks on the album ‘Hell Or Nothing’ also has a personal meaning for Sabrina with regards to a previous Manager who she clashed with back in the 1980’s.

It may have taken Ice Age over thirty years to release an album but it’s so been well worth the wait. Let’s hope there is a lot more of this to come!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Fleet Street
02. Hell Or Nothing
03. Clever
04. General Alert
05. Instant Justice
06. Breaking The Ice
07. Total Collapse
08. Mental Disorder
09. No Need To Bleed
10. A Case Of Cerebral Death

LINKS:

Ice Age promo pic

Disclaimer:  This review is the sole property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce any part of this review, unless you have the explicit agreement of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and reported to the relevant authorities.