Cold Steel

Sodom & America Cold Steel - Freakboy (Turbo) 1992

1.   Truth or Dare (3:40)
2.   The Worst Is Yet to Come (4:14)
3.   Bracing the Fall (3:56)
4.   Perfect Peace (3:34)
5.   Fools Paradise (5:04)
6.   Freakboy (3:50)
7.   New World (2:56)
8.   What Are You Looking At ? (4:58)
9.   Never Now, Never Will (4:20)
10. D.S.M./Hazardous (to Your Health) (5:52)
11. Crackdown (4:02)

Cold Steel are a thrash metal from Valley Stream, New York, USA that was formed in 1988. From '88 to '92 the band released a bunch of demos, an EP and had a few songs on a compilation titled "North American Thrash Assault". "Freakboy" was the band's first full length album. For the most part, Cold Steel are fairly traditional, sticking to straight forward, melodic, speed/thrash metal. 

However, they offer a few surprises in their sound, such as the horn section in "The Worst is Yet to Come". There is plenty of those headbanging guitar chugs and those fist-pumping, shout-along gang chants. The band also mixes in a fair amount of grooves, such as the killer groove of opening track "Truth or Dare". The whole CD has this raw, underground vibe that is underscored by a low-budget recording. Audiophiles will snear and turn away. Those who love the true, underground, arcane steel will find Cold Steel very appealing. 

America Idle Coldsteel - America Idle (Stormspell) 2013

1. America Idle (5:07)       
2. Blood Secrets (4:23)       
3. You Lose! (3:22)       
4. Blink Of An Eye (3:47)   
5. Ashes To Ashes (4:44)       

Arriving just over 20 years after their last release, Long Island, NY's Coldsteel breaks their silence with this five song EP. The band consists of two original members, vocalist Troy Norr and guitarist Joe Shavel. For this round they are reinforced by shredder Eddie Campbell (Morbid Sin), bassist Doug O'Dell (Iced Age) and drummer Hal Aponte. Surprisingly the band hasn't changed styles so much that they are unrecognizable, although the production quality of the recording is much more modern than their last album.

The album opens with an angry, politically and patriotically charged song titled "America Idle". It's a speed metal call to do something and not sit idle. For the most part vocalist Troy Norr sticks to a tough, slightly gruff style of singing. He almost shouts the verses. However, Norr can definitely sing and scream. He lets loose with a short King Diamond-ish scream at 2:12 into the track. I wish he would have used more of those style vocals on this EP. (Norr also sings in a King Diamond tribute band called Them). The guitar work is stellar in this track as well. "Blood Secrets" follows up and is a more straight-forward speed metal song. This is the sound that made "Freakboy" so enjoyable. "You Lose!" has a similar vibe but sometimes the vocals come off as a bit rap-like. They sort of remind me of the scene in "Rock Star" where Mark Wahlberg is in the vocal booth and starts rapping the lyrics as an angry protest to his bandmates. The last two songs are both mid-paced metal numbers. "Ashes to Ashes" reminds me a bit of Belladonna-era Anthrax, while "Blink of An Eye" chugs and grooves along a bit like Bush-era Anthrax. Peppered throughout this EP is some stellar axe work from Campbell and Shavel, who even offer up a few dual leads.

Overall America Idle is a solid and highly enjoyable metal album. It's heavy, crunchy, employs melodies and harmonies, grooves at times, has aggressive and versatile vocals, top notch axe work and anything else you might want from a speed metal band. Only thing I can say is I hope we don't have to wait anothe twenty years for a follow-up.

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