• 5/10
    CONQUEST OF STEEL - Hammer & Fist - 5/10


Release date: July 31, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Since the mid to late nineties, Metal with an eye towards the eighties has steadily been on a comeback, more or less successfully on a worldwide scale. Interesting, though, this Metal rejuvenation has not been as strong in the UK, which is given credit as the country where it all originally was spawned some forty years ago. During this last decade, a scene that started with Power Metal Euro-style that held dragon-based themes, a market that got so oversaturated it’s not funny, now transitions towards a more Traditional Old-School way of performance and presentation. This tendency can especially be traced in America, Germany, and even Scandinavia in recent years.

So, where does the UK stand in Metal’s resurgence? To put it mildly, UK’s export regarding Metal still comes off sparse in comparison. Obviously, there is an audience for it. Is the climate worse in the UK for fans starting bands? Is it a club circuit that hinders bands from gigging and providing a name for themselves?

Whatever the reasons, Conquest Of Steel, five gents from Bradford sporting patch-covered denim vests and studs, stand much as an exception in this case. They are indeed British, but they could had been from pretty much anywhere else, given Metal’s rise of bands elsewhere. They’ve already managed to establish a certain underground status, supporting greats such as Skyclad, Hammerfall, Blitzkrieg, and Biomechanical. As far as releases are concerned, two EPs and one full-length have preceded Hammer & Fist. Conquest Of Steel could musically be likened to bands such as Warlord and earlier versions of Stormwitch and Manowar. A slight medieval sense plagues the band’s songs.

Concerning the lyrics, naturally, there are the themes tried and tested so often within the genre, attempting to count got lost eons ago. Yet Conquest Of Steel actually manages, through shying away from sing-along mannerisms, not to come across overly cheesy in the immediate sense. No, rather they indulge in the themes to the point where they pass the mark and overdo it. Amidst all the mentions of brothers, swords, victory, and, of course, the mighty five letters that stands for what we all love (if you don’t, why are you reading this?), namely M-E-T-A-L, the lyrics are actually quite well-crafted. Amongst all the war hymns, Conquest Of Steel occasionally really shine, but overall, though well-executed, the band’s concept becomes too one-sided and tiresome in the end.

Conquest Of Steel have the heart, but given especially the healthy state of Metal lately, where the renaissance witnesses an underground scene stronger than it has been for possibly some twenty years, this band has still a clear bit left in them to firmly rise above the average output available. Eventually the resurgence will sadly fade off and the party will be over. Where will that leave Conquest Of Steel? Time will tell.


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