December 10, 2022

Rising Steel is a cataclysmic heavy metal band from Grenoble in France with the marvellously titled Beyond The Gates Of Hell being the band’s third album since it was formed in 2012. The band released the well-received Warlord EP in 2015 which well and truly put them on the map and they followed this with the exquisite debut album Return Of The Warlord in 2016 which showed that this was a band that rocked big time. The second album, Fight Them All, which came out in 2020 further enhanced the reputation of these Gallic metal men as a special team and purveyors of hard and heavy rock in the best traditions of the British masters in Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Diamond Head. The band also introduced elements of German and Swedish metal into their sound and a good deal of thrash too so they have a style borne out of Priest, Megadeth and Accept which is a truly heady mixture. I always expect French rock bands to be intense and rather esoteric with a penchant for style, elegance and eccentricity but Rising Steel is the polar opposite as they rely on screamed vocals, wailing guitars and a thunderous bass and drum backing that shakes the foundations of your house and, being a huge Judas Priest fan, I was blown away by Fight Them All which is a stunning album capable of satisfying all your metal desires!

Third album Beyond The Gates Of Hell which sees the band delving deep into the metal zeitgeist and taking everything that they have done before and magnifying it by a factor of ten. Beyond The Gates Of Hell is a huge statement from the French boys as they battle for a seat at the top table and a few more albums like this in their discography will definitely mean that the band is the real deal and a team of musicians capable of carrying the banner for metal for many years to come. Their fusion of NWOBHM (of NWOTHM if you prefer) and thrash is extraordinary giving the music a life and vitality that is incredible and fairly crackles with energy and force. The riffs are crunching with searing guitar breaks to die for and exciting and truly passionate metal vocals that thrill to the core.

Again, the band hides identities behind nom de plumes with some great assumed names with Emmanuelson on vocals, Tony Steel and Steff Leadmaster on guitars, Stone Warrior on bass and Steel Zard on drums and this does make it difficult to keep up with the histories with the band. It now looks like there may be a couple of new members but it could also be that they have just had a little fun and changed names, who knows or cares as it is the music that is paramount and on that Rising Steel score top marks. The songs are all around the 4 to 5-minute mark which makes for a tight and compact delivery with the band not shooting off on flights of fancy but concentrating on a short, sharp metal attack in the best traditions of Judas Priest. The album opens up with the loud, fast and frenetic title track which roars and screams into life and grabs you by the throat shaking you within an inch of your life as this is heavy metal that is live, vibrant and truly off the scale. Rather than being the highpoint this is merely the entrée and what follows is a true metalfest of epic proportions that simply batters you into submission. The quality of song writing is exceptional, the playing off the scale and Emmanuelson is the consummate voice of rock with his strident and powerful delivery in accent free English.

If you’re looking for a new band to headbang to or to try out your new air guitar then you could do a lot worse than experiment with Rising Steel as this is a band full of energy, desire and with a portentous heavy metal vibe that will leave you open mouthed in admiration from this stunning group with a new album that will well and truly blow your socks off! Vive la France.

Beyond The Gates Of Hell

  1. Beyond The Gates Of Hell (5:53)
  2. From Darkness (3:29)
  3. Life Awaits (4:33)
  4. Death Of A Vampire (5:30)
  5. Run For Your Life (3:55)
  6. Infinite Pain (4:21)
  7. Skullcrusher (3:50)
  8. My Burning Time (3:58)
  9. Beast (4:25)
  10. We Are Free (5:35)