Stairway: The Other Side Of Midnight
Stairway - The Other Side Of Midnight - [Self-released]


The UK's Christian metallers Stairway are at it again with another helping of melodic metal, taking of where 2002's "On Hallowed Ground" ended. Basically, it’s the same kind of traditional NWOBHM with some neo-classical flourishes, well done and well played by a band of talented veterans, its nothing too groundbreaking or new, and it doesn’t try to be, its old school melodic metal done just right.

The sound is not band for a self released effort, you don’t have the shine you would expect from a label-supported release, but all-in-all its quite well rounded and clear, the main thing here is the music, basically mid-tempo heavy metal with some faster bits, and the playing ability of these guys, great guitar work, a solid rhythm section, and a strong vocalist.

First track, "Mercy", is probably a nod to the band's debut album, 1993's "No Rest: No Mercy", pretty good traditional metal with a neo classical feel.
While the two first tracks are quite good, things really get going with "Burn", an epic track which starts with a slower tempo before changing gears into one of the angrier tracks in here. "Pray For The Children" is probably my favorite cut in this, quite heavy guitar riffs with a particularly strong vocal performance. Another standout is "Lead Us", with its memorable chorus.

As usual the guitar leads are a strong focal point for the band, the guys' belt out some memorable shreds in here, but it’s the overall feeling of experienced players that are on top of their game that makes this one work.

As I said, nothing new or modern, just a good melodic metal album for traditionalists that still enjoy this sadly dying genre, but I cant help but respect these veteran geezers for sticking to their guns and showing the younger guys how to do it right.

Alon Miasnikov

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