R.U.S.T.-Forged in the Fire of Metal
Self-Release (supported by Pitch Black Records)
Usually if it is easy enough (and available) to find online I like to listen to a group's demo first before hearing their debut album. It's a good way to gage growth and get a feel for a band if you've never heard of them before. In the case of R.U.S.T. I had been digesting Forged in the Fire of Metal for a week or so when I came across their 2007 demo on another blog I visit. Having just gave it a good listen earlier today I noticed for the most part this is the same band who crafted that album only they are a few years older and maybe wiser. It wouldn't take a genius to figure out where R.U.S.T. are coming from. Just look at the cover. If that wasn't enough of a hint check out these song titles-"Metal Child", "We Are Rock n Roll", "In the Streets of Rock n Roll", "Queen of the Amazons" and the title track "Forged in the Fire of Metal". This one screams 80's metal like there is no tomorrow! Listing Savatage, Warlord, Accept and Saxon as influences gives a good starting point although early Overkill, W.A.S.P. and Manowar make appearances as well. This Cyprus-based heavy metal band has given us an album that feels like it was ripped out of the 80s and dropped in our laps rock n roll side up. Headbangers and rockers alike will appreciate the production here. Sure this one is being released through Pitch Black Records, but it is essentially an independent album and as such it sounds like it is another long lost recording from an era when heavy metal wasn't so overproduced and slick. If no line-up info had been sent along you'd almost be forgiven for thinking this was some sort of unknown project from Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. Not that it is bad thing, but these vocals have that same sort of shriek and snarl that Bobby made famous. When it is laid down over smoking hard rock/heavy metal tunes it brings me back to my teenage years. For me this album sounds like I really went back in a Heavy Metal Time Machine! Back to the days when the sweet sounds of vinyl could be heard blasting through my stereo. Forged in the Fire of Metal would have also likely been a cassette tape played to death and worn ragged from multiple rewinds. No doubt knowing the critics out there like we all do I'm certain to catch some heat here with my retro-metal worship. The loud voices carry saying R.U.S.T. is just another band trying to relive the past by relying on used up heavy metal riffs and lyrics of days gone by. To that I say lighten up folks you'll live longer. Just let this one play out and enjoy the ride. This one is a burner thanks in no small part to the fact that it was "Forged in the Fire of Metal" by the devil himself! Nothing hip or modern to be found anywhere with R.U.S.T. One way or another they have lived this style of metal because it echos through loud and clear their love for fantasy themed lyrics and epic guitar anthems. This one will be filed away in the repeat listen folder because frankly it just reminds me too much of a simpler time and that isn't a bad thing at all.