It seems that AOR Heaven will come face-to-face with Frontiers Music for this year's releases. The newest addition of AOR Heaven is called SHAFT OF STEEL. A melodic hard rock band based on London, UK, and centered around the songwriting partnership of Alex Markham (guitar) and Robert Fenning (vocals). The group’s line-up is completed by Adam Carruthers (guitar), Dominic Swords (bass), Chris Smurthwaite (keyboards) and Michael Levy (drums).
The band's sound is pure melodic rock heaven and reminds of acts such as Place Vendome, Care Of Night and Lionville just to name a few. ‘Steel Heartbeat’ features backing vocals, on all tracks, from respected producer and musician Dennis Ward who is famous for being the bass player in legendary German hard rockers Pink Cream 69 (and, more recently, the vocalist for Firewind main man Gus G’s solo material).
The opening tune of "Touching You Every Day" is what the ordinary melodic rock/AOR fan asks for from this kinda of music. Melodies to die for, hook and chorus line to sing-a-long and an amazing late 80's vibe. Perfect start! "I've Never Been Alone" is more AOR-ish, more in a west-coast direction while in "Because Of You" we have another clear winner here. Ultra melodic with a smooth harmony this one is among my personal favorites.
The highlights continue with the amazing tunes of "Together As One Tonight" (very Work Of Art-esque), "Falling Through The Flames" and the edgier "Lucky Girl". Another track that attracted my interest at once is the blusier and super melodic "You See Smoke When I See Fire". For sure yet another song that reminded of me Work Of Art's music.
Even though it's way too early I have to say that SHAFT OF STEEL achieve to release a tremendous AOR album all the way! I really can't say if this is gonna be the AOR album of 2020 but, for damn sure, it's an excellent one! If you love band s such as Work Of Art, Lionville and Care Of Night, then you hev to check Shaft Of Steel's newest opus right away!
Songwriting : 9
Production : 8
Songs : 10
Overall Rating : 9,25 / 10