ToledoToledo Steel are a band I caught live earlier this year and boy was I impressed. Their demo material was a shape of things to come and these young guys certainly feel inspired by the NWOBHM movement and a fair bit of Iron Maiden.

‘Alcatraz’ is a perfect start to this three track EP, this is full of cool riffs and possesses an energy that has the ability to kick start your day even if you have the worst hangover from hell. Vocalist Rich Rutter has a great vocal range and in the current crop of bands adopting this music genre, it is great to hear that this guy can hit the notes and more importantly the band are playing songs in a key that fits with Rutter’s vocal range. There is no auto tune here; I know I have seen them live. The second track ‘Black Widow’ sounds a little darker; again, it cannot be faulted whilst the closing tune ‘Flames Arise’ shows clear development in the bands song writing abilities. There are no strained vocal lines, no out of place odd ball guitar notes, it’s perfect, but I think you have already gathered that!

As a first EP release, this is very good quality and the production is damn fine too. Fans will be able to see them live throughout the course of 2013 and into next year at the second Brofest event in Newcastle, a well-deserved opportunity and platform to enhance their profile. I am excited about this band, they can really play, they are well rehearsed and they do not record anything that they cannot replicate in real life. Check them out ASAP.

(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)