Rage’s Revival Metal Reviews – Toledo Steel – Zero Hour (2015) and No Quarter (2018)

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I have decided to start reviewing releases from the “Revival” scene here in the United Kingdom to help draw some attention to the bands and the scene overall to encourage more people to get into the music. We have seen the positivity created by the NWOCR scene and those bands and I am hoping to be able to do the same with he Revival movement which has frankly been going from strength to strength of late. I will do my best not to get bogged down in the comparisons with other bands or genres and try and talk about the songs and releases based on their own merit. We have enough online reviews comparing everything under the sun to Iron Maiden and we do not need any more of those. I am starting with Toledo Steel, who are a traditional Heavy Metal band from Southampton, England originally formed back in 2011 who have been a staple of the Revival movement for several years now and I will be looking at both of their most recent releases.

Zero Hour (E.P.) 2015

The E.P. opens with the instrumental piece, Zero Hour before kicking into Fallen Empire, it really sets the mood and brings with it that feeling of a classic Metal release. Fallen Empire in itself is an old school Metal track, from around 2:11 the song becomes truly epic, with the main riff returning and building into an amazing section, with dual lead guitars backing epic vocals into the solo sections which continues to drive the song forward, with again the dual harmony lead section starting from 3:43 being one of my favourite sections from any band on the British underground scene right now. It really does build you up and give you that sense of old school Heavy Metal conquest the world was sorely missing ten years ago when everything was a fringe, breakdowns and Metalcore. It’s long been a favourite track of mine from the band.

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City Lights continues in the same vein as Fallen Empire, this is a band who should be getting the same sort of renown as Holy Grail, White Wizzard, Monument, Cauldon, Skull Fist, Enforcer, Ranger and more and this track is another example of that. Its got more bluesy elements in sections, but the chorus really makes the song and showcases Richard Rutter’s impressive vocal style. Children of the Sun opens with an amazing intro that again creates that feeling of supreme Heavy Metal majesty. This is probably the stand out song from the E.P. Obviously the musicianship by the band on this release is incredible, and the production for a self-release is strong. Obviously, there are the impressive Toledo Steel instrumental sections and solos in Children of the Sun which are a signature of this release. Matt Dobson is an absolute monster behind the kit, long being one of my favourite Metal drummers on the scene live and his performance on this release reflects that.

Speed Killer is another favourite song of mine, again with soaring vocals and an epic lead line and rhythm that really drives the song forward. The chorus’s also gets stuck in your head and is one of the best on the scene right now. Speed Killer! Speed Killer! The riff under the chorus is pure old school, and the dual harmonised leads in the break section really does give the song great a dynamic moving perfectly into the next section of the song.  The final song from the EP, the self-titled track Toledo Steel starts off with the sounds of whirling Spanish steel on a battlefield of antiquity before a thunderous Metal assault begins. Again, the dual lead work in this song is great and a chorus which again sticks with you long after the song has done.

No Quarter (2018)

No Quarter is the first album from Toledo Steel, and has been released through the traditional Heavy Metal label Dissonance Promotions and is available from even hmv stores in the U.K. The band has subsequently changed line up since the Zero Hour release with Kyle House being replaced by Josh Haysom on lead guitar. Bassist David Lovell remains on the release as a session member, but subsequently the role of bassist has since been filled by Nathan Davies. They are both great players in their own rights, but the band has done well to find equally good replacements ahead of, and after the album recording.

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The album kicks off with very fitting technoir sounds before kicking into Behold the Machine. Somewhat darker than the material on the previous release, with lyrical theme s about a Machine led tyrannical rule of the Earth. The riffs overall are much heavier here too, with slow driving riff led sections replacing the lead guitar driven sound that comprised much of Zero Hero. At 4:10 we’re treated to one of Toledo Steel’s best compositions, with a huge riff and melodic vocals giving you a sense of impeding doom throughout, reminding us that we’re out of time and there is no turning back. No Quarter, the title track, continues the heavier tone of the album, with a much more menacing sound overall. This really gives the impression of a band looking to grab you by the throat with the release. The high vocals are still there, but excellently delivered with a lot of grit which compliments the sound of the album throughout.  We do however see the epic dual leads in this song that were a staple of Zero Hour, with dual lead guitars leading to the solo section on No Quarter, which again really does help deliver the epicness of the band overall. Cemetery Lake is another exercise in old school evil Heaviness which seems to be a recurring theme of the release, even with the backing vocals theres a different edge to Zero Hour that helps create the atmosphere of the album well. It’s just darker overall and I really like the contrast between the releases.

Visions in the Fire starts with a bass/drum drive as the guitars slowly join in kicking into the beef of the song again bringing back that feeling of NWOBHM but retaining the heaviness and evilness overall. This is probably my favourite vocal performance from Richard Rutter on the album, his vocals really stand out with this track. He just sounds class here. The solo section this song is pure NWOBHM inspired quality at its best, and as good as any of the big hitters form back in the day. Sight of the Sniper is a bit more classic Toledo Steel in terms of riffs, drums and overall compositions and especially in the vocal melodies. Around 1:47 onwards is a perfect example of this and is greatly welcomed but bleeding back into that menacing, evil sound that is the backbone of the No Quarter release.

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Rock Nights opens with an equally brutal crushing old-school riff with soaring vocals and this song is another favourite of mine. This is again another solid vocal performance overall with a great chorus that sticks. Heavy Metal Headache returns very much to the British Metal format with the galloping riffs and basslines you would expect from the scene and is anything but a headache to listen to. In fact, this is one of the best old-school riffs on the album. Again, this is classic Toledo Steel, so if you loved their earlier work you will love this and Rock Nights as a pair.

The drumming on No Quarter is well performed and has been mixed incredibly well overall, lending to that overall heaviness of the release which I really enjoy. Tom Potter must be credited for his solo work on these releases as his solos are always tasteful, well thought out and delivered well in the context of the track. Josh Haysom seems to be a great choice as an additional guitarist too.

As stated throughout the review, this album is much heavier, grittier and darker than what we would have previously expected from the band but also represents a step up, and a step in the right direction for an already well-rounded band of greats musicians and songwriters.  The album finishes with When the Night Draws in. This is a great album closer and one of the most epic songs on the album and a good way to finish the release. I love the rhythm guitar and drums in the solo section which finishes with a dual guitar harmony the harkens back to the golden era of Heavy Metal.

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In short with the right push, Toledo Steel could be huge. They have the right look, great chorus’s and sexy guitar riffs to inspire fans of traditional Metal fans the world over. But they have had all these for a number of years now, and I’d like to see them get the plaudits they deserve. They have the perfect blend of epic instrumental sections and clever verse and chorus hooks, and a vocalist with a great high vocal range who can deliver. I don’t see why Toledo Steel couldn’t play a stage as big as Download and go down extremely well, and it’s certainly time that bands like these got that opportunity here in the UK. They should be known throughout Europe, as they are doing a sound which is already very popular on the continent and in most cases being performed by hundreds of bands there, but only to a standard only half as well as what Toledo Steel offers. Toledo Steel is a legitimate old-school British band that is not a gimmick or a creation of a record label looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of the revival Metal movement here in the U.K. Please support the band by buying both releases here.

For fans of Judas Priest, Armored Saint, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Metal Church

New A Crisis of Faith Merch Range from Dizzyjam

 

You can now get special made to order A Crisis Of Faith logo t-shirts, hoodies, caps and bags from Dizzyjam. These are high quality merch items produced and priced exclusively by Dizzyjam and come in a variety of colours and sizes. Click here to order.

  • Mens T-Shirt
  • Womens T-Shirt
  • Old School Style T-Shirt
  • Merch Bag
  • Hoody
  • Cup
  • Cap

There will be an official album t-shirt made available direct from Kaine closer to the album’s release later this year. It can currently be preordered alongside the album for just £13.

Chris MacKinnon finishes drum tracking for new Kaine album

Kaine drummer Chris MacKinnon has finished tracking drums for the new Kaine album A CRISIS OF FAITH. The drums were tracked over three days by Carl Brewer of Pointy Halo Productions at Red Wall Studios based in Greater Manchester.

The band will be returning to the studio shortly to begin the rest of the recording process for the new album. You can pre-order the new album from just £3 by clicking here.

People who pre-order the elite package will get rare items such as the above from the recording sessions.

A Crisis Of Faith – Pre-Order Begins

STANDARD PRE-ORDERS (CLICK HERE)
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD £3 [£5 after pre-order period]
CD PRE-ORDER £8 [£10 after pre-order period]
CD & T-SHIRT PRE-ORDER £13 [£15 after pre-order period]

ELITE PACKAGE – £125 (see below & CLICK HERE)
4x CD’s – 1 x Vinyl – 1 x T-Shirt – 1 x Private Performances – Lifetime Guest List – 1 x Poster – Album Credit

A CRISIS OF FAITH ON CD/VINYL
You get the album on both CD and Vinyl.

A CRISIS OF FAITH LIVE 2017 CD ALBUM EXCLUSIVE TO ELITE PACKAGE
The live album was recorded earlier this year at the Asylum by Short Stack Studios, and it features all the tracks from the new album live plus two tracks from The Waystone, which Kaine founders Dan Mailer and Joshua Moreton both appear on.This will be on CD and Digital Download only to those who pre-order the Elite Package.

GHOST EDITION OF THE ALBUM
The “ghost” version of the album recorded and produced by Kaine drummer Chris MacKinnon will be only available as part of the elite package for the new album. This version of the album represents the bands final version of the album before going into the studio and will greatly differ from the studio sessions. It’s the first time we have officially released tracks of these kind as a band.

A CRISIS OF FAITH T-SHIRT
Album artwork on an exclusive t-shirt in a size of your choice!

LIFETIME GUEST LIST PREFERENCE FOR LARGE SHOWS/FESTIVALS
We often get sent through our guest list preferences for our bigger shows and festival performances. If you buy this package, this will guarantee your always on that list – indefinitely! This is regardless of how big the show or festival may be.

SUPPORTER CREDIT IN ALBUM SLEEVE
As your helping us fund the album, your name will forever be displayed in our album sleeves for A Crisis Of Faith as you helped us make this happen.

A PRIVATE PERFORMANCE
That’s right – you can book us just for yourself and whoever you want at a date/venue to be agreed with you directly, and we will even let you pick the setlist of however many songs you like!

HANDWRITTEN THANKYOU NOTE & SIGNED POSTER
As you will be helping us fund the recording of this album by buying the elite package we will write each of you a personal thank you note and include an exclusive signed poster as part of our appreciation for your support.

SIGNED LYRIC SHEETS & STUDIO NOTES FROM SESSIONS
First come, first serve .. all studio notes and lyric sheets we have from the sessions will be yours if you’re one of the early ones to pre-order the elite package!

ORIGINAL KAINE E.P. (LIMITED STOCK)
That’s right we have dug up some of these from our storage so if you order today you may be one of the lucky ones to own one of these rare CD’s, no longer on sale… we may well even have one signed by the original line-up which you may be lucky enough to own.

Kaine announce new album A CRISIS OF FAITH and reveal artwork

The new Kaine album will be called A CRISIS OF FAITH and will be the first full length release from the line-up that features Rage Sadler (Guitars and Vocals), Chris MacKinnon (Drums, Keys, and Vocals), Saxon Davids (Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals) and Stephen Ellis (Bass and Backing Vocals). The new release features songs written by all four bands members and has been a collaborative effort.

The album has been written and rehearsed since August 2015. In 2016 the band released a live bootleg recording called “The Soundhouse Tapes” for free which featured early versions of the songs from the bands live set at The Soundhouse, Colchester which is available on the bands Bandcamp page.

Pre-orders to begin soon, so keep an eye out for when the links go live. The album art for the bands new live-album will also be available online later tonight.

Kaine awarded top 100 Metal Blog place by Feedspot

Kaine (www.kaine-metal.com) has been recognised as one of the top 100 Heavy Metal blogs in the world by Feedspot (Feedspot Blog Reader).

Feedspot said: “I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Kaine – British Metal Revival has been selected by our panelists as one of the Top 100 Metal Music Blogs on the web.I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Metal Music Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!”

Kaine are listed alongside some of the biggest Heavy Metal sites and bands on the net including Metal Injection, Metal Underground, Metal Blade Records, MetalSucks.net, TeamRock, Decibel Magazine, Terrorizer, Loudwire, Metallica TV, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Iron Maiden, Nuclear Blast, Century Media Records, Judas Priest and more.

The website currently stands at 87th in the entire world.

Kaine complete rehearsals with reunion line-up for Saturday

Kaine complete rehearsals for the reunion show on Saturday, May 20th at The Smokehouse in Ipswich.

Last night Rage Sadler and Stephen Ellis were joined by drummer Josh Moreton, founding member and Ant Murch, former lead guitarist to run through the set supporting Eliminations 10 year Anniversary show. Josh will also be performing with Elimination the night, as will be founding bassist Dan Mailer who had to withdraw from the reunion with Rage and Josh due to injury.

The set will be material from Falling Through Freedom, The Waystone and the forthcoming album. For more information please visit the Facebook page.

Kaine will reunite with 2 Former Members on May the 20th

The Immortal was due to play the Smokehouse in Ipswich in support of Eliminations 10 year Anniversary on May 20th. The Immortal is made up of Kaine founders Rage Sadler, Dan Mailer and Josh Moreton and features Dismanibus’s AJ Kemp on guitar.

Sadly Dan Mailer has developed carpal tunnel syndrome which means he’s having to take time off from playing bass. He will still take part in the show as he’s playing in Elimination but to lighten the workload and help speed up recovery it was agreed that it would be best to drop the Immortal set for the night.

Dan Mailer said that: “[Sunday was] One of the toughest sets of my bass career fighting through Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I now have to take a small break from playing bass in the hopes of a speedy recovery!”

Kaine will take the Immortals place on the bill and will re-unite with original drummer Josh Moreton who appeared on the original E.P. and Falling Through Freedom, and lead guitarist Anthony Murch who played on both Falling Through Freedom and The Waystone for the show.

Josh Moreton hasn’t played with the band since December 2012 and Anthony Murch since December 2015. They will join Rage Sadler and Stephen Ellis from the current line-up for a one-off set.

Rage Sadler added: “I hope Dan is able to make a swift and full recovery. Dan gave a lot of time to this band over a 6 year period and has clearly suffered for his art. It’s a great shame we weren’t able to play a gig with the founders of the band this time but I am sure we will re-arrange something in the future. On the other hand, I welcome both Josh and Anthony back to the fold for the show and it will be fun to take the stage with both of them as we haven’t played together since 2012. We promise not to disappoint.”

Kaine to team up with Cart & Horses, Stratford the birthplace of Iron Maiden for a number of shows

Kaine will be teaming up with the legendary Cart & Horses in Stratford, a venue where Iron Maiden first got their start in London. The band will be running a number of headline shows at the venue, featuring guest bands who also play Revival Metal and Now Wave of British Heavy Metal inspired by bands such as Iron Maiden.

“At the Cart and Horses, we’re passionate about live music as we were very privileged to have the legendary rock Band Iron Maiden play here. We carefully pick our bands and musicians for their talent, this is why we have chosen Kaine a leading force in British Metal Revival, primarily influenced by the first wave British Metal bands to Rock our stage.”

Also working in partnership with Kaine in promoting the events will be the NWOBHM festival Mearfest, which works primarily to raise money for stillbirth charities. Mearfest will help promote the events at the Cart & Horses as well as raise awareness for their charities.

Brian Mear commented: “Mearfest was changed into an all Metal Fest last year in memory of our full term Stillborn daughter Molly. We have incorporated NWOBHM bands and younger Now Wave of British Heavy Metal bands to great effect. Having had sold out shows in London and Newcastle and raised awareness and £10,000 for Various charities in the last 12 months. We have worked with Kaine from the very start finding their music powerful and a new force in British Metal. We look forward to working alongside the band in the future, to increase exposure for what we are both doing and to build on our already strong friendship.”

Kaine will be selecting the guest bands who will play alongside them, with the first show on Saturday, May 13th with more details to follow. The Cart & Horses can be found at 1 Maryland Point, London, United Kingdom.

Rage Sadler added that: “We were approached by the Cart & Horses following our show with V1 (which features ex Iron Maiden members Dennis Wilcock and Terry Wapram) on Saturday, we have since looked at putting on some shows together and pushing new bands at the venue that play in the style first created by the likes of Iron Maiden back in the 70’s. I am extremely proud to be working with this venue on these shows and hopefully we can turn them into a huge success and reignite the flame that was NWOBHM but for a new generation of fans.”

More details will follow on the shows, in the meantime please check out www.cartandhorses.london and www.mearfest.com to learn more about the venue and Mearfest.

 

 

Kaine’s The Waystone in Profit as Sales/Streaming Total over 50k

 

The Waystone, Kaine’s second album first released in 2014 has made a profit £1,220.93 with 855 sales, 50,812 streams and 16 single sales. This is a huge achievement for the band, who after dropping their label prior to its release funded the album themselves and pushed it hard online and at their many shows.

Physical sales are still the bands strongest source of income for the album bringing in a total £7,835.66, with digital downloads at just £198.53. In terms of streaming income, and income from third party sources such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon etc. despite the amount of streaming being relatively high (50,812) the return was just £178.23 (£0.0035 per stream/download) for the band.

The largest amount of cost for the album was the production/mastering which came in at £4,888.64 and the duplication/pressing £2,108.85. The total profit for the album now stands at £1,220.93.

Chris MacKinnon, drummer on The Waystone said of the news: “I’m still astounded. When we first released The Waystone, the thought of paying off the album expenses would dare not creep into my mind. There have been times over the years where my dwelling thoughts of the financial struggles of being in a band nearly became crippling. Every single time a fan would buy a CD at a show I would always thank them honestly, explaining how they really are the people that keep the band going.

We often earn criticism from ‘real’ musicians who tell us what we’re doing is futile and we’re approaching the wrong way of marketing our albums, but whatever we’re doing right now is working – to the extent where we are now earning clean profit on my first real album – and the glistening hope I’m seeing for the future makes me want to scream with joy.

This proves it. The blisters, the sleepless nights, the emotional frenzies, they are all worth the sacrifice if we can make the music we love and return a PROFIT! Today is a good day, I look forward to the ones to come.”

Rage Sadler, who performed vocals and guitar on the album, added: “When we dropped the label we knew we were taking a huge risk moving forward, we tried to find another label to put the record out on but they essentially wanted all the profit in return for the album, one offered us 100 free CD’s at no cost we could sell ourselves, which would have left us significantly out of pocket! 

We were mocked in some quarters for not signing, some believing we were simply being arrogant in not doing so. We even had to drop a label after a month because they simply refused to print any physicals, despite us covering all the costs of the album ourselves.

What this says to me, despite what some are saying about Metal being dead and how no new band stands a chance because nobody wants what we are doing anymore, is firstly how wrong those people are and secondly that hard work pays off. We toured relentlessly to promote this album, we took it on the road from every corner of England, to Scotland, Wales and even across the sea to Ireland. We have received a great amount of support from Metal fans right across the world who love what we do. 

After we released it, no major publication would cover it, no bigger festival would book us. We did this entirely off our own backs with the support of the people who genuinely love our music and that for me is the real achievement in this, because for a band our size to not only make a profit but bring in such a significant amount of sales and streams, but continue to do so nearly three years after the album’s release just shows the strength of that album and our live performances.

One issue this does highlight is the amount a band our size gets in return for streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube, or sales from places such as iTunes and Amazon. Despite having over 50 thousand of these streams/sales, which is incredible, it brought in less than £200. These are big companies turn huge profits out of music, but it really isn’t filtering down to bands like ours and that’s the only negative out of today’s announcement.

This is an amazing moment in Kaine.”

Kaine are currently gearing up to record their third album later this year as a follow up to 2014’s The Waystone.