Reset, Reboot, Redeem


The 3rd outing by STEELWING sees them developing their post-apocalyptic lyrics in a more thoughtful […]
By Tony Playter
December 15, 2015
Ghost Horizon - The Erotics of Disgust album cover

The 3rd outing by STEELWING sees them developing their post-apocalyptic lyrics in a more thoughtful and mature way. Sonically challenging at points and deep in its meanings forces the listener into exciting self-reflections while challenging pre-conceived world views. This album would have been out of place and needless in the post-cold war 1990s, but with darkening world views becoming the norm this set five Swedes provide the sound track for the end of the world.

Definitely your thinking man's thrash metal album, drawing on heavy themes of freedom, spiritually and political decay set in a dystopian mind set. Opening with the eerie melodies on "Carbon Waste Lifeforms" to transport you away from reality in time for "Reset, Reboot, Redeem" with it's crushing riffs and infectious grooves, you can imagine the crowd shouting "DANCE YOU FUCKING PUPPETS" before headbanging with the solo then circle pitting to the riff that follows. "Och Världen Gav Vika" show cases very intricate guitar leads and their native tongue of Swedish, the melody felt fresh and is something they should definitely do in the future in a world dominated by English speaking bands. Following the aftermath of the Paris attacks, no truer words of "defending our freedom by taking our freedoms away" have never been uttered, "Architects Of Destruction" rages against totalitarian ideals and offers a searing critique of American Presidents by sampling speeches (notably G.W. Bush's.) It's a bleak masterpiece, hitting far too close to home and all the better for it. "Network" may seem like a sub-1 min album filler, but give it a few listens and unpick the lyrics... if you're not reconsidering your views on religion you may need to listen again. "Like Shadows, Like Ghosts" is one of the shorter, punchier songs on the album and deals with concepts of death and our temporal state in the universe.

Showcasing more progressive influences, "Hardwired" starts with a slow-paced but enticing intro before bursting in a Galloping verse. It's a true thrash metal rollercoaster between souring leads and hefty riffing. Riley's vocals range is stunning, able to lead you through songs like a consummate story teller or forcing bleak messages front and centre to get the point across, shown to it's full extent on the final track. The rhythm section of Nic and Oskar deserve phenomenal praise for underpinning every song with a level of quiet majesty, creating much space and tension while still leaving an open canvass for vocals and guitars. The 9.30 minute epic "We Are All Left Here To Die" could be at risk of becoming bland without them, but with them every intelligently woven vocal line hits home and is likely to become a live anthem in the near future, and forms a triumphant finish for a lofty album.

This album is best listened to when on long journeys (the overnight Megabus London-Glasgow for example) and any form of physical exercise. Bands normally struggle to form an individual identity while wearing their influences on their sleeves as they do, but STEELWING pull off with sincerity and bravado without becoming another 80s parody band.

8 / 10


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"Reset, Reboot, Redeem" Track-listing:

1. Carbon Waste Lifeforms
2. Reset, Reboot, Redeem
3. Ozymandias
4. Och världen gav vika
5. Architects of Destruction
6. Network
7. Like Shadows, like Ghosts
8. Hardwired
9. We Are All Left Here to Die

Steelwing Lineup:

Riley - Vocals
Robby Rockbag - Guitars
Alex Vega - Guitars
Nic Savage - Bass
Oskar Åstedt - Drums

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