Sunday, August 14, 2011

R.U.S.T - Forged In The Fire Of Metal

R.U.S.T
Forged In The Fire Of Metal
Independent Release/Pitch Black Records

With a band name like R.U.S.T, and an album titled ‘Forged In The Fire Of Metal’, it would be impossible to mistake this for anything but an old school sounding heavy metal album from a band that are clearly influenced by act’s that existed primarily in the ‘80’s.
Hailing from Cyprus (Agioi Trimithias, Nicosia), this five piece act (Consisting of vocalist Tasos Karonias, guitarists Panagiotis Xanthou and Adamos Adamou, bassist George Xanthou and drummer Giannis Xanthou) have been active members of Cyprus’ growing metal scene for the better part of the last seven years (And nine years if you include the two years the band were called Flames In Ice) - with their debut four track self titled E.P. released back in 2007.
Although unsigned, Cyprus based metal label Pitch Black Records has decided to give R.U.S.T a helping hand by providing distribution for their debut full-length effort ‘Forged In The Fire Of Metal’, which will finally allow the band to get exposure on a world wide scale. And no doubt they’ll find plenty out there who will embrace their brand of old school heavy metal, in no time at all.
The opening track ‘The Thunder Rolls’ is fairly indicative of what R.U.S.T has to offer up listeners. The duel lead guitar work easily brings to mind acts such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, while the band’s overall approach to song writing echoes early Saxon, Accept, Savatage and Omen. Lyrically, ‘The Thunder Rolls’ is full of every heavy metal cliché you could possibly summon up. The production is a little on the thin side of things and the song does tend to drag a little at close to seven minutes - but small niggling issues aside, it’s hard not to enjoy what R.U.S.T have to offer up purely based on what it is - and that’s fairly straight forward old school heavy metal.
Elsewhere, the guitarists provide some great shredding lead work on the follow-up track ‘Metal Child’ (Which was released as a single late last year), while on ‘We Are Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and ‘Streets Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’ (Which originally appeared on their debut E.P., and has been re-recorded here), the band take on a bit more of a hard rock sound, with vocalist Karonias putting on his best Paul Stanley (Kiss) meets Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) impression.
On ‘Lady Of The Lake’ and ‘Queen Of The Amazons’, the band stretch out a little more to give their songs a bit more of an epic and atmospheric feel, which they manage to pull off fairly convincingly, while on ‘Phoenix In The Night’, ‘Straight To The Top’ and the lengthy title track ‘Forged In The Fire Of Metal’ (Which is preceded by the short sound effects piece ‘The Beginning...’), the band revert back to delivering straight ahead metal anthem styled numbers.
The production is thin, and the songs are full of every heavy metal cliché you could possibly think of. But despite this, R.U.S.T have still managed to put together an album that combines all the great elements of ‘80’s heavy metal, without sounding like they’re trying too hard to blend both old and modern influences into their sound, or coming across as a tribute act. ‘Forged In The Fire Of Metal’ is a rather enjoyable release for what it is, and nothing more.

For more information on R.U.S.T, check out - http://www.rust-official.com/

© Justin Donnelly