To celebrate the release of the album ‘British Steel – The Rising Force of British Heavy Metal’, a new compilation on Dissonance Productions, there were various events planned including a couple of live shows (Friday night at the Dev with Toledo Steel) and a release party at the ‘Crypt of the Wizard’ record shop in Hackney. I was party to the main event on Saturday which featured Aggressive Perfector, Seven Sisters, Eliminator and Amulet (Dark Forest had to pull out unfortunately) who all feature on the album and headlined by legendary Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper. We shall get to them in a minute, as it has been quite an eventful year for that band and singer Steve Grimmett.

Opening band, Aggressive Perfector, well…unfortunately I missed these, I got into the venue just as they were finishing their final track so it’s unfair for me to comment on others opinion’s. Next up were personal favourites Seven Sisters. I love this band and their live shows, it’s a shame I can’t convince a few of my peers, but hey. Once again, stagecraft was key, excellently presented, bar some dodgy outfit worn by guitarist Graham, ha. Of course we were party to ‘Highways of the Night’ and their new track specifically recorded for the release of the British Steel album, ‘The Witches Eye’ with its busy opening section, speed and NWOBHM mixed perfectly. Kyle’s vocals were strong, a great feat considering some of the tempos involved.

Eliminator have been going for a while, with this line up they have the future in their own hands. Its twice recently I have seen them, they are well rehearsed, overall confident and newer tracks show major progression in both sound and song writing ability. There’s a slight air of introspectiveness from the singer, but that’s the style as I have witnessed previously, obviously having fun with a cheeky smile here and there appreciating the music being belted out, that’s the main thing, giving the people what they want pure and simple.

London’s Amulet featured a new line tonight, the stage was set to initiate their new drummer and for me to witness their new bassist for the first time. As usual, the show went tremendously well. They simply are a class act live, full of energy and confidence. ‘The Highway Man’ and ‘The Hangman’, legendary. The venue is pretty packed now and whilst the beer is flowing well, there’s still some class to follow.

This being Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper. Having gone through a leg amputation earlier this year whilst on tour in South America, Steve whilst being supported by his band mates and wife Amelia, has surprised most. Steve is a true metal warrior and I have the utmost respect (even more so) for his will and desire to continue to present his amazing vocal talent for us drunken souls. You have all the classics on offer here, despite another line-up change, the main backbone of Steve and guitarist Ian Nash invite us to ‘Rock You to Hell’ whilst we definitely ‘Fear No Evil’. The newer material such as ‘Wings of Angels’ and I believe I sang ‘Rock Will Never Die’ and of course the title track of their latest release ‘Walking in the Shadows’; these were well received by the majority and judging by the sing along contingent, they are pretty much part of the solidified live set of the band. Obviously, ‘See You in Hell’ got aired, a majestic metal anthem that sounds great every time I hear it, that intro, that power, amazing.

After all that, and a few drinks with friends afterwards, I concluded that this was a wonderful evening of British Heavy Metal, proving that we have an abundance of talent coming from the new generation and the old guard still command amazing respect and metal credentials that will continue as it has previously, for many years to come.

(Paul Maddison)