Monday, April 08, 2013

Xcel-Deliver This Dream

Arkeyn Steel Records

Xcel are the latest cult 80's act to get the royal treatment from the fine folks over at Arkeyn Steel Records. Sometimes it seems as if the label are making it their mission to release every cult heavy metal record out there. If so I have a few suggestions for them, but that's neither here nor there. For now we have this this excellent Texas band who, in addition to self-releasing the "Deliver This Dream" LP in 1986, released the "Last Ride of Ichabod Crane" 7" single on Accent  in 1987. Now, while a bootleg CD by Hot Metal Records is floating around the scene don't be fooled by it as this re-release is the real deal!  In other words this is how "Deliver This Dream" should be re-released! This re-release features both the album and single and, in addition to a new booklet with lyrics, pics and bio, the re-issue has been re-mastered. That makes sense since the album's original production never sat well with the band anyway as it was recorded at Triplex Studios in Port Arthur, Texas who, while technically quite able, were more known for their work with country and western artists instead of rock and heavy metal ones. The new re-mastered version gives the album much more punch although, as this came out in 1986, it still sounds like an eighties production job. Granted that gives it all the more charm I suppose. Vocalist Kevin Luke lead this American power metal act that drew inspiration from Iron Maiden and Queensrÿche. In fact, the band looked at Queensrÿche as more then just an influence, but also an inspiration. Just as Queensrÿche had released their first self-titled album by themselves so did Xcel. They had the right idea and certainly the talent to back it up. While the album's original production was only so-so the single featured better production and should have done the trick as far as getting these guys the nod. It didn't happen though and, just like other cult eighties acts I've recently covered like Nitro and Salem, they didn't get the proper recognition then so, hopefully, this time around will be different. Since the re-release is a limited edition (1,000 hand-numbered copies) I suspect that it will be another hot ticket item for the label. "Deliver This Dream" features catchy metal numbers with really good lead solos. Fans of the aforementioned two bands would do well to check out this re-issue as well as those who love good eighties power metal/heavy metal bands like Heathen's Rage, Mainiax and Metalwolf. Along with Alloy Czar (review latest this week hopefully) Arkeyn Steel Records is giving older metal fans like myself something to cheer about!

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