The Dungeon Tapes
The Dungeon Tapes
Genre: Power, traditional
Reviewer: Raising Iron
Great, unheralded, deeply underground ‘80's metal
After a lone, self-titled, 4 song EP released back in 1984, Tennessee's Medieval Steel broke up and left the music scene, finally to reunite around 2004 and reissue said release with some dusted off demos, a couple songs rerecorded, and a new one, "Ghost from the Battlefield". We finally get a proper full-length albums worth of songs, available for the first time on CD from this little known act.
These guys would've been an upper tier power metal band back in the day had they kept things together; every song here is a delectable bit of old school heavy metal that tugs at the darkened hearts of spike and leather clad fans the world over. Queensryche and their first EP jump immediately to mind as a comparison (before any progressive notions existed in that band), or maybe Jag Panzer's stellar debut. This is just good, mid-paced, heavy metal that makes the listener pump fists and throw horns, and the one newly written song, "Ghost from the Battlefield" is galloping corker to be sure. Things are a bit thin in the production department, but, as most of these are 20 plus year old recordings, that's to be expected. Despite that minor shortcoming, a great mix is still present, and the vocals of Bobby Franklin are smooth and powerful, hitting the highs and controlling his mid-range timbre quite nicely. The requisite "ballad" is here in "Echoes", done well mind you, but "To Kill a King", "Warlords", and "Medieval Steel" are the real barnstormers to be reckoned with.
The band claims there is a full-length in the works with a hopeful release date of 2009, but right now this is all there is to get from these guys. For those looking for great, unheralded, deeply underground ‘80's metal, this is a must for your collection.