Irish metallers Steel Tormentor have been playing traditional heavy metal of the highest calibre since 1996. They originally started out as a solo project by founding member James Kelly, where all instruments were handled by the Mayo native.
On ‘Return of a King’ Steel Tormentor seem to have a conveyor belt of melodies to choose from. There are some mean riffs from the quartet on their follow up to 2004’s ‘Unleashed’ and the guitar sound has a crunchy aftertaste.
Instrumental 'Ghost of Avalon' kicks the record off nicely with some excellent guitar work from messrs. James Kelly and Norman Rafter. Backed by a thunderous display from Kevin Ryder on drums that bridges the opening track with the gallop of ‘Evil Coming’.
Kelly handles the role of front man/guitarist very well and has a strong and consistent voice that is reminiscent of Blaze Bayley era Iron Maiden.
Another stand-out track ‘Warrior’ has an altogether infectious chorus, an almost anthemic feel to it. There is also a radio edited version included at the end of the record, which would have sufficed.
‘Soul Stealer’ is a Judas Priest style romp with a scream along chorus that even the legendary Birmingham five piece themselves would be proud of. These guys manage to fuse the catchiness of classic Iron Maiden with the good old fashioned, pure metal attack of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) era greats like Saxon.
All in all, another fine effort from Kelly and Co.
Sadly, news on the band's official website in mid-July confirmed that Steel Tormentor are currently on a permanent hiatus. Feedback hopes that James Kelly can come back stronger than ever with a new and more durable line-up real soon.