During the last decade there has been a wide movement of newly formed bands in the underground that one way or another they re present Heavy Metal they way it was delivered back in the 80s. Enforced by all the musical and visual elements that can be mentioned as the basic stuff of Heavy Metal music such bands offered records that were the butter in the bread of someone that seriously could not enjoy a modern or extreme approaching on Metal music.
There is a thin line between the "trend" that wants bands with 20-25 year old average aged members to worship the past on spandex and high pitched vocals just because they have noticed the -temporary- success of some fellow musicians in fellow bands and for those bands giving their entire passion to the music they love delivering each and every single tune like it would be the last.
R.U.S.T. from Nicosia, Cyprus surely belong to the second category and I can assure you that their private debut album "Forged In The Fire Of Metal" -distributed by the most important record label in Cyprus Pitch Black Records- is one of the top HEAVY METAL albums -and will remain in that spot for many years- that have been released the last years. I put this release among releases by bigger and older bands because it simply has been a long time since I heard a band delivering their Steel in SUCH passion and power. Moreover if have to stick in the category of "the young band of 00s that pays tribute to the Classic Heavy Metal genre" then simply the band form Nicosia has released the BEST album you can hear leaving all the other bands of their age and period -00s- to eat their dust.
I have been following the band since their 2007 debut demo and I always was in the mood that those Metal wolves from Nicosia are crazy enough for their Steel but even I was NOT prepared enough for the shock that was waiting for me after the hearing of their debut album. Ok the most of the times we all come across good Metal records that satisfy us but with this one I simply wanted to destroy the whole place, I wanted to listen to each and every song in high loud volume, I caught myself singing the melodies of the choruses, fuck it is the very similar feeling like a 16 year old teenager listens for the first time a Judas Priest record. The enthusiasm, the power and the magic of Metal are filling the air...
"The Thunder Rolls" is the opening track of the album and for the first tunes of the song you will notice the old school production that is a big trademark of the entire album, this is the sound we love -and yes the bass can be heard loud and clear like the first Iron Maiden and Angel Witch records-.
"Metal Child" follows -this was the first single of the album that the band has done back in 2010-. Yes I know you would hear it as well: The vocals, the vocals, THE VOCALS and the passion they deliver! In their high pitched moments, in the way that each and every lyric is sang -listen to the singer putting those "alright", "ah" and "let's go" emphatic parts on the song's very beginning, to the scream in the intro and to the way that he gets into the song singing "The Night Now Is Falling..." and you will shiver. Tasos Kaornias is his name and he sings every single lyric like there will be no tomorrow. Guys put out a 12'' single with a black and white cover showing a child hanging a sword. This is your hymn.
R.U.S.T. will remind us the best possible way that Metal is a music that takes out in the streets, "We Are Rock n Roll" and "In The Street Of Rock n Roll" will give you your NWOBHM fix, bass lines rules in the second one. But it is a fact that you would enjoy the band on their approaching of those fantasy Metal topics -that I worship the most-. "Phoenix In The Night" and "Lady Of The Lake" are perfect examples. Fuck, you got to listen the way that the singer sings "Lady Of The Lake", with the polyphonic chorus enforced with all those "you'd better watch out", endings and the high pitched second voices. This is my favorite track of the album.
On "Straight To The Top" the band pays for one more time a tribute to the NWOBHM stuff that is wisely mixed with some mid 80s European Steel. A mix of Midnight Darkness, Heavy Load and Tokyo Blade is on your stereo speakers, not bad at all. "Queen Of The Amazons" would bring back the epic and fantasy atmosphere and a melodic interlude -like the one on the "Lade Of The Lake" will introduce you to this pounding song. "In A Time Long Ago, In A Land far Away From Home...".
The album epilogue belongs to "The Beginning / Forged In The Fire Of Metal" a bombastic anthem of Steel, powerful yet melodic and epic. Yes this songs presents the better way the three elements that give birth to the spirit of the mighty R.U.S.T.: Power, Melody and Epicness. What can a poor man like me write? Listen to the songs final part when all the band sings together "forged In The Fire Of Metal" enforced by the high pitched vocals of Tasos. You would get a point of what is all about and before you take your final breath the sound of the hammer upon the anvil would close the record offering you a LAST chance to understand its message.
I am thrilled. I am thrilled by the passion of this band. I am thrilled by every small elemts on each song of this album that delivers into my mind the "secret codes" that are understandable only when transformed form a metalhead to a metalhead. I can not even remember how many times I caught myself smiling listening to the solos and the riffs of Adamos Adamou and Panagiotis Xanthou, the bass lines of George Xanthou that fills the air, the drumming of Giannis Xanthou who emphasizes each and every second of the songs beat by beat and finally the vocals of Tasos Karonias with all their theatrical -the Metal way- approach, the little screams in the end of the the lyrics, the small breaking and stopping in the final choruses -like he does in the "Straight To The Top" where he and the band emphasizing in the word "Straight" making a small breaking on the final chorus-, his "get ready", "watch out" and "let's go" fillings, his crystal clear voice and his brilliant voice melodies.
Iron Maiden, Angelwitch, Tokyo Blade, Jaguar, Diamond Head, Midnight Darkness, Heavy Load, and Taramis are the band's that came into my mind during the hearing of the best Heavy Metal record of the year. Go and get it now and get two copies one to listen and a second one to decorate your room with because the album has a magnificent front cover.