Re-activated after years away from the scene, a trait common with Stormspell bands (which is great news!), these thrashers have this EP ready to whet your appetite. One of the first things you may come to realise with this is the influence of Metallica’s ‘And Justice for All’ album and Flotsam and Jetsam’s ‘When the Storm Comes’ and that would put Coldsteel representing an era of 1988-1990 just about where they last left off actually. The EP title ‘America Idle’ is not by the way homage to that bloody synthetic TV show, its actually representing Coldsteel’s thoughts and observations on the American domestic situation, the artwork is also a clear depiction of this.
Songs like ‘Ashes to Ashes’ have a certain Hetfield and Eric AK feel from the vocal, the tone is quite similar (and thus ties in with my earlier bands references). ‘You Lose’ is one of those tracks that has an opening riff that really marks its intention, it is very energetic but eventually it does suffer 90’s progressive thrash breakdowns during the verse and the riff underneath this is cold…but when the tempo becomes more stable, you have headbanging opportunity a plenty and this is where Coldsteel really fly in their comfort zone. If you like that idea then move onto ‘Blood Secrets’ that is much brasher whilst still maintaining a great vocal melody. Within this melody and in addition in fact there are some cool moments harmonized in the guitar solo, a trick learnt long ago that is still relevant to current times, lest we forget!
For all the release is enjoyable it does remind me of thrash from the early to mid-90’s that had and in this case has flashes of old school tempo and power mixed with what was considered the more “progressive” nature of the beast when it comes to song arrangements with a desire to break the mould of genre saturation. It is certainly a treat to hear Coldsteel back in town and their music is unquestionably detailed and thorough, your love for this release will all depend on what decade of thrash heritage you really prefer and for me, this is a valiant effort that sits well in my appreciation.
(7/10, Paul Maddison)