Stairway: On Hallowed Ground
Stairway - On Hallowed Ground - [MIB Music]


The early 80's, the breeding ground for the NWOBHM movement, is one of the most cherished periods in the history of music for me, the time when giants such as Iron Maiden and Saxon where born.
Out of the same melting pot other great bands like Angel Witch and Blitzkrieg arose, and even though Stairway originates from a much later period in time, musically speaking, they are certainly NWOBHM.

Judging from the age of most of the band members, I believe they did have where involved in the metal scene at that time, but the band has been around closer to ten years, and not 25, such as the above mentioned bands.

One thing to clear up before I continue, anyone with an aversion to Christian metal should keep in mind the band is unashamedly Christian, from its name and album title, to the cover and song lyrics, all revolve around Christianity, many metal heads I know tend to think that a metal band should concentrate around the darker aspects of life, so they might find songs about salvation and belief a bit hard to swallow.

Other than that, I think every melodic inclined metal head would enjoy this album, its solid, mid-tempo hard rock-metal, with strong NWOBHM influences with some European melodic flourishes in it.

The first track, Under The Gun, immediately shows of the band's professionalism, each person holds his own with extremely tight musicianship, Graeme Leslie's vocals are both melodic and fierce, the rhythm section is air-tight, and Pete Jennens guitar work is stellar, his lead work is among the best I've heard in a long time.

Liar brings to mind the Malmsteen track by the same name, though slower in tempo and more hard rockish in nature, again, the band's evident experience makes every song sound mature and well crafted.

Justify is a ballad, and as such I fast forward it, I may like 80's metal, but I never did like ballads, as such, its certainly a proficient one, but I cant stomach un-heavy songs by a heavy band, sorry.

Deo Volente is a return to more epic sounding metal, a good solid melody line.

The band needs a new logo and MUCH better cover for its next album, but if it'll sound similar to this one, it'll be a winner.

Alon Miasnikov

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