CD Reviews

Sergeant Steel - 'Riders Of The Worm' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 17, 2016    
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A great piece of eighties themed Melodic Hard Rock

Sergeant Steel describe themselves as Austria's premier Hard Rock band, so I was intrigued when this landed for me to review. 'Riders Of The Worm' is the band's third release following on from 2013's 'Men On A Mission'. Sergeant Steel are a six-piece band featuring Phil Vanderkill (vocals), the dual guitars of Jack Power and Chuck Boom, the rhythm section courtesy of Ronny Roxx (bass) and Cozy Coxx (drums) and the dynamic keyboards of Ben Bateman... although gut instinct makes me think these aren't their real names. The utilisation of producer Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Skid Row) was a masterstroke bringing a wealth of experience into the fold.

The first track 'Happy Time (Love On Demand)' hits you full-on and showcases some fantastic guitar work, including an awesome solo reminiscent of the late eighties scene; Vanderkill's vocals are strong and it sets the tone on what's to follow. 'Dirty Habits' has a Kiss-esque riff-laden sound whereas 'Silver Spoon' features a guest appearance from Kane Roberts (Alice Cooper); whilst simplistic in style, it's one the album's highlights for me.

The album continues apace with good solid Hard Rock and even includes a guest appearance from Mark Slaughter on 'Young And Hungry', a catchy anthemic song with some soaring guitar play. Keeping with the style of the eighties we get a couple of ballads mixed into the running order with 'Where My Heart Is' and 'Promised Land'; these showcase the various talents of the band and bring Vanderkill's vocal performance to the forefront. 'Samsara' is an instrumental with an Eastern theme and funnily enough doesn't feel out of place on the album. The album ends with a strange Hip-Hop re-mix of 'Dirty Habits' which also fits in well with eighties feel of the album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Overall this is a great piece of eighties themed Melodic Hard Rock, containing all the ingredients you would have expected; the involvement of the special guests adds further depth to the release. The songs are all well written and all members of the band appear to be at the top of their game. The production is crisp and clear which definitely adds to the experience; being recorded in Wagener's studio in Nashville has allowed the boys to produce such a big sound.

I'm not sure there is an equivalent to the Sunset Strip in Austria... maybe a Sunset Piste; but this wouldn't be out of place on the real strip in the eighties. This is a great release for all those fans who were around in eighties and still crave that nostalgic sound or those that would just like a good Hard Melodic Rock album.

Mick Parry

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