CD Review: Metalsteel - Beyond The Stars (Clasic Heavy Metal, 2017)

A concept record taking things back to basics. No heavyweight production, no special effects overload. Just pure music crafted directly of the instruments of those loving Heavy Metal music

The wonderful frontcover artwork for Metalsteel's "Beyond the Stars" album, (c) by Metalsteel, used with kind permission
This album has set a view on the power of the songs alone. You can feel that the composers of the slowenian band Metalsteel prefer their art to be pure and to be delivered this way to the listener.

Thus said the songs need to stand stronger than ever to reach the audience and they do with much ideas, variations and sing-along choruses. The last element like all the music stems from the musicians themselves. There are no choirs pushed up to sound big on this record but the backing vocals introduce the message with such emotion that they will adress you instantly and invite to sing along. Think of being at a show and you just can't help but need to add the choir all around you.

The songs span a wide sort of feelings, from softer half-ballads (End of the World) to straight midtempo tracks but most of the duration the double bass power set's the motor for the music and keeps it coming fast. The lead vocals change on some parts to the more rough direction, something warmly welcomed because it brings in a fresh touch.

My favorites are the title song making me imagine being on a journey beyond the stars myselves and the track "Materialist No More" with it's more edgy guitars and hard riffing mixed up with variations ranging from fast to midtempo and even soft parts.

Purchase-Link & Preview-Track
Fans that love the pure but also modern sound will welcome this silver disc the same way I do. Let's have some good feelings and rock out to this straight. The hardcopy in a beautiful digipack package comes around for ten Euros directly out of the band's hands at www.metalsteel.net

Listen to one track with the video below to get a idea of Metalsteel's sound.

Contact and Tour Dates
Make sure to see them live starting end of February 2018 in their homecountry Slowenia. All dates are up on their homepage or tune in to the social world of Facebook to be notified of a show near you.


Who brought paradigm shift to the guitar player world?

As some of you may've read in previous interviews here on the Underdogs page inspiration can be sourced of various things. But paradigm shift? Something that changed things for times to come? That doesn't happen often I think.

Today we have a nice little article preview for you out of the hand's of the Rock Candy magazine talking about this subject. The mag is a print product available online and in many shops worlwide. It is put together by respected UK rock journalists Derek Oliver, Howard Johnson and Malcolm Dome, all frontline writers for the legendary Kerrang! magazine in the golden era.

The cover of the February / March 2018 edition of Rock Candy magazine, (c) by Rock Candy magazine, used with kind permission
It talks about iconic as well as more unknown acts of past and present days (for instance the making of Judas Priest's "Screaming for vengeance" album). You can get your copy from the papermag's homepage and follow them on Facebook.

Read on and find out what Steve Vai say's about paradigm shift in the world of guitar players.

Speaking exclusively about his deep appreciation of Edward Van Halen in the new issue of Rock Candy magazine, Vai told editor Howard Johnson, “There are so many guitar heroes I love, and maybe even prefer over Edward in a sense. But the two guitar players who really created a paradigm shift in my opinion were Jimi Hendrix and Edward Van Halen. Everybody else has contributed wonderfully to the art form. But when you look at scope of their individual contributions and how they became pivotal turning points for guitar playing, those two guys were the most effective.”

In a wide-ranging interview all about the Van Halen legend that forms part of Rock Candy mag’s 14 page VH feature in the current issue, Vai recalls hearing Edward’s playing for the first time when he was a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston in the late ‘70s.

“’You Really Got Me’ came on the radio, with the ‘Eruption’ solo tagged on at the start,” he explained. “We were just all completely stunned.”

In a long and illustrious career, Steve Vai has produced some of the most loved guitar music ever recorded, while also bringing his outstanding combination of flash and technique to some of rock’s greatest acts, including Whitesnake and, of course, David Lee Roth. Between 1985 and 1989 Vai performed a number of Edward’s songs alongside the former Van Halen frontman during the height of Roth’s solo career.

“Playing Van Halen songs is such a hoot,” he told Rock Candy. “Especially when you’ve got David Lee Roth singing them! ‘Panama’ is just great. ‘Unchained’ and ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ too. We’d play a whole lot of Van Halen tunes and they were always wonderful. The parts were constructed perfectly, because Edward has real completeness as a guitar player.”

The full interview can be found in the issue February / March 2018 of Rock Candy magazine. Other bands also featured in this issue are:



We lost track show T-Shirt artwork creation process

Have you ever thought about how difficult and time-consuming it is to draw a T-Shirt design, one of the many that we love to wear everyday? Melodic metal band We lost track have taken up this topic and put together a timelapse video that shows that.

While you can listen to a powerful yet very direct and not too complicated track of the female fronted combo you can spot the creator Timon Kokott drawing the band's T-Shirt design. I never thought this would take so long and require so many detailed work to have a finished product in the end. It's always impressive to see how dedicated creating art is.

Find out more about the band We lost track with a look upon their website or check 'em out on Facebook.