Retro 80’s heavy metal is one of the few nostalgia-fueled sub-genres that hit the scene with lots of support, plateaued heavily for a couple of years, and then took off yet again with phoenix-like exuberance. Bands such as Enforcer and Cauldron have gone on to great success and building on their straightforward denim-and-leather charge into battle, and newer acts like Eternal Champion and Traveler have added further dimensions, not only to this throwback scene but to classic heavy metal as a whole. Stockholm’s Lethal Steel produced a stellar example of this with their 2016 debut, Legion Of The Night, a record that was high on many a ‘top albums of the year’ list.
Running From The Dawn is a 4-song EP that is exactly what you would expect – less than 20 minutes of hot blasting heavy metal that swoops in with riffs a-flying and headbanging fury, horns to the sky and entertaining to the max. It’s just long enough to give the songs room to breathe, and short enough to keep the attention and kick-ass before the needle hits the outer groove.
“Weekday Refugee” starts the proceedings off with an atmospheric build-up that erupts into a perfect example of modern heavy metal that has all the spice of classic metal built into a modern sonic torpedo of riffs, choruses, and studded fury. “Stay Away” continues the barrage of guitar-packed bravado and is a whirlwind of thunderous distortion and soaring vocals. “Ge Allt” is sung completely in Swedish with an upbeat 70’s punk vibe, and this makes for a heavy song with balls and cultural diversity. The EP closes with “City Of Sin,” which brings to mind classic Iron Maiden melodies and guitar lines shrouded in a modern punch and is a barnstormer of note to bring the short set to a close.
Very few EPs land up being as important or groundbreaking as a full-length, but they’re not meant to have such clout or impact. For many bands, the EP is a great way to get out additional material that didn’t make it on to an album, or a stopgap between tours and records to keep the fans happy. Running From The Dawn sits firmly in the latter category with its playful vibe and powerful songs that, although not destined to be classics in their live set, entertain no end. And damn, if I wasn’t entertained.
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RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2020