STAIRWAY – The Other Side Of Midnight

STAIRWAY - The Other Side Of Midnight


Stairway Music
Release date: July 31, 2006

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Although being a largely unknown name, this is in fact already the fourth album by Stairway from Great Britain. The debut CD No Rest: No Mercy came out as far back as 1993. Following disputes with their former record company, another six years would go by before the independent release of the second CD, Bleeding Heart. Since then, the band has continued releasing CDs through their own, aptly named, Stairway Music label: On Hallowed Ground (2002) as well as a re-release of the debut album in 2005. Last year they played with, among others, Rob Rock and Narnia at Metalfest in Germany.

Years ago, Great Britain spawned marvelous Heavy Metal bands quite frequently, many of whom would become legendary, or even household names. But, that was a long time ago, and for some reason the former Nation of history-making-Metal would be left far behind creatively, as the musical landscapes in other countries grew stronger, so much so that Classic Heavy Metal sadly seemed downright dead in the country where it originated. Thankfully, there will always exist exceptions to the rule, and Stairway, uncommonly, is a present day British band playing nothing but classic-styled British Heavy Metal. Most of the songs on The Other Side Of Midnight could had been written and even released in 1984, and especially comparing the state of the UK’s musical exports back then and now, that’s a good thing! Indeed, Stairway sits right at home musically with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Blitzkrieg, Witchfynde, and Grim Reaper, to name just a few great bands this country spawned.

Clear mutual ground aside, The Other Side Of Midnight actually has songs strong enough to cut its own with the greats and carry on the legacy, even if it understandably won’t have the same impact in this day and age.

“No Mercy” kicks off the proceedings in a pure, true-to-form sense. “Sea Of Fools” is an up-tempo, catchy track that keeps up the momentum, while “She Calls” offers heavier, mid-paced leanings as well as clearer keyboards in the mix. “Taste The Blood” starts off slowly before picking up pace, while vocals take a pause during the beautiful instrumental “Cantabile.” A crushing riff opens “Death & Destruction,” a song that has the basic characteristics of what makes Metal heart’s pound proudly worldwide. The ballad “My Life Goes On” closes this great album fittingly, not close to being long, but still having an epic sense.

Lyrically, they differ compared to other British bands mentioned above, as they are a Christian band, with song titles such as “Soldiers Of Heaven,” “Lead Us,” and “Pray For The Children,” as well as the band’s moniker, giving clear indication.

Production-wise, it is lackluster and fairly flat; surely a disadvantage in this day and age when people, to a certain extent are perhaps used to judge music by its production at first listen. However due to the strong material, this can be ignored.

The melodic, clean vocals courtesy of Graeme Leslie bear a slight resemblance to ex-Black Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin, and thus fit the bill exceptionally well, and the lead guitar melodies carry the tunes with comfortable ease. All in all, Stairway’s The Other Side Of Midnight will surely make a great addition to the collections of followers of pure-blooded British Heavy Metal.


Graeme Leslie – Vocals & Guitar
Pete Jennens – Guitars
Rob Jennens – Bass
Andy Edwards – Drums


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