Steep - Silence Is Not Golden - 2006 - Dies Irae Records
1. Silence Is Not Golden 2. Rise 3. Thousand Years 4. Redefine 5. Devouring 6. Fingerthroat 7. Sweet Leech 8. Legions Of Hate 9. Unnatural Disaster 10. All Dead 11. The Empire Of Grief
Dies Irae Records is a new label out of Finland that specializes in all types of hard rock and heavy metal. The guys that own this label also run Rautakanki On The Road as well as the Metal Barbeque Club. They have been kind enough to send us a couple of their new bands, Steep, and Codeon. The subject of this review is Steep's "Silence Is Not Golden" release. This marks the group's first album to date following a demo and an EP. The band hail from Tampere, Finland and play a rather generic form of mallcore. At this point in time I feel that Steep is just going through the motions, not really doing anything interesting or innovative but still showing a quality effort that fits with this particular genre well. It isn't the most original thing I've heard and in terms of long playing stamina, this album will not stand the test of time for me. There is just too much original, interesting metal coming in by the boatload to spend much time on something this average and paint-by-number. Nonetheless I still feel that in terms of short term play and comparing it to others within the same sound, Steep still hold their own.
While tracks like "Redefine" and "Rise" are pretty much poster advertisement for MTV2, other cuts do display some melody. Obviously Steep follow the same sort of musical path as bands like Sworn Enemy, The Haunted, and Unearth. They create a chaotic sound that is fueled with a moshing sensibility, backed by groove based riffs, double bass drums, and of course that guy who sings on every one of these albums. Here he is simply just yelling and displaying the normal hip hop range. The melodic cuts found here are the ones that stir a slight bit of interest to me, with "Thousand Years" really exploding into some melody towards the end and even mixing it up with the likes of Exodus and Metallica.
Bottom Line - During one sitting of "Headbangers Ball" you will hear ten bands that sound identical to Steep. I really wish these bands would learn to write a catchy chorus or something with substance that the listener can sink their teeth into. Their is a reason why bands like Soilwork, In Flames, and Killswitch Engage continue to be successful and interesting while Steep simply sits in my collection reflecting the sun. If the band added some clean vocals and maybe slowed down a bit, I would really be quite pleased. Based on this album alone, Steep can do much better.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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