"The Eagle Will Rise"

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you're looking for a generic, one-size-fits-all slab of Euro metal, the Eagle has Landed. GENERATION STEEL is a hard band to hate if you like the true steel like ACCEPT, HAMMERFALL, SAXON and the likes, but it's even harder to like if you want an iota of originality in your music. This German outfit, produced by mainstay Uwe Lulis and featuring a guitarist brilliantly known as Jack the Riffer, is treading an EXTREMELY well worn path. But a lot of people like this familiarity, so more power to them.

The title track kicks the album off with a riff so old and venerable, it should have a long white beard. I swear I've heard this riff a dozen times in the last 30 years or so.  Singer Rio Ullrich gives it his all and sounds much in the vein of HAMMERFALL's Joacim Cans, but he won't make anybody forget Halford or Tate with his performance here. At least he puts some energy into it. "Generation Steel" and "Warbringer" boast riffs that sound even older and more well worn than the title track. I love classic old school metal, but you've got to put something of yourself into the music instead of bald-faced imitation.

Well, they almost get there towards the middle of the album. "Praying Mantis" and "The Chariot" are high energy power metal tunes that have some more flair and personality to them. This is the kind of path that GENERATION STEEL should pursue further.  I rather like the near-thrash "On My Way" as well. But by the end of the album, typical ditties like "Heaven's Calling" and "Alive" again return things to unsurprising fare.

This is a 100% metal album and the band are talented enough to avoid being really bad, but frankly the effort comes across as very workman-like and little more.