STEELWINGS – Still Rising (2022)
Forty years after their founding, Swedish hard rockers STEELWINGS are back presenting their new album titled “Still Rising“. The band was part of the FWOSHM (First Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal) played a lot of shows and the music was mainly spread by tape-trading. In 1983 STEELWINGS went to England and recorded two songs, one featured on the Metal Plated compilation album. They also appeared on the charity record Swedish Metal Aid, together with other Swedish heavy rock bands such as Europe, Treat and Heavy Load. The last album before their hiatus – Steelwings – was released on LP and CD in 1989.
In 2007 the new era for STEELWINGS began, when the band was asked to perform on the 700 years anniversary festival of the city of Markaryd. They recorded some singles and 2019 STEELWINGS released their comeback album.
After a long band history, STEELWINGS now have joined forces with Pure Steel Records for the worldwide release of their strong new album “Still Rising”. This is classic metal circa 1982 with that special Scandinavian touch, recorded with an updated production but still sounding classic.
”Still Rising” keeps faithful to the traditional blues-based heavy metal sound, keeping those early influences at heart in all aspects of tones, energy, feel, and atmosphere. The main components present for Steelwings consist of easy on the ear melodies with the requisite harmony chorus support, plus guitar licks/riffs that cement themselves quickly into your brain. Judas Priest, AC/DC, and The Scorpions are three prominent influences between the driving guitar parts of Michael Lindman and Gert-Inge Gustafsson and engaging, personable mid-range to high vocal inflections courtesy of Tommy Söderström.
NASA sound effects open “Rocket”, an explosive effort midway through that exudes a higher energy tempo from Marcus Fritiofsson as well as uplifting musical hooks and a simplified chorus ready for shouting audiences to participate in unison with the band.
Often the rhythm section passages reside in a slower, comfortable groove platform to allow the guitar/vocal combinations better penetration to shine, making “Easy to Go” plus the early Accept-like “Break of Day” standout tracks.
The record ends on a majestic, left-field note for “Heat of the Night” – the ballad strains subsiding as the verses kick in, the ‘woah’-oriented background vocals over a prolonged solo break ideal to keep toes tapping and hands clapping.
Steelwings delivers the denim n’ leather. They have a stock old-school appeal for ‘Still Rising’ that is cult-like for many, and this band gives you that in spades. If you still dig that 1978-1983 sound of early hard rock/metal, this is the album you’re looking for.
01 – Hell or High Water
02 – Stand up and Fight
03 – Break of Day
04 – Hey Hey
05 – Like a Shadow in the Night
06 – Rocket
07 – My Rock’n Roll
08 – Rock On
09 – Easy to Go
10 – Heat of the Night
Tommy Söderström – Vocals
Gert-Inge Gustafsson – Guitars
Michael Lindman – Guitars
Peter Fredriksson – Bass
Marcus Fritiofsson – Drums