The Morning After

You Can't Hurt Steel

Written by: TL on 22/07/2009 00:46:16

What would it mean to you if I told you, that already during the first two tracks (intro and opener) of The Morning After's debut album "You Can't Hurt Steel", the following things have crossed my mind: Top Gun's soundtrack, Iron Maiden, Trivium, fuckin' pretentious breakdown-core, Escape The Fate's "Guillotine" songs and well.. Dragonforce maybe? Probably you're already hiding your face in your palms, but please stop that immediately, because while this may sound like an awful cocktail, it really really isn't!

You see while the alleged re-emergance of hair metal has thus far been championed by questionable and poppified gimmick acts like Blessed By A Broken Heart and.. sigh.. Steel Panther (whom I'll review when my nausea settles back down) who have probably done more damage than good to Def Leppard and Iron Maiden's continued attempt to hold the eighties most prominent metal genre's banners high, The Morning After seem to actually have something more worthwhile going on this first album of theirs.

Before I'll rave about that though, let's just go over the sound shall we? Basically this is hair/power/heavy metal made modern, driven still by the blazing guitar sound of classic 'Maiden but made all too current with added growls, gang vocals and.. second sigh.. pretentious fucking breakdowns. Don't get me wrong, I actually think it's refreshing to have breakdowns added in such an unusual place as a power metal song, but on this record they are probably the only musical part that seems to be done entirely badly, and while they are probably massive fun live, they sound oddly glued in here and they are something the band will need to work on for their next album, should they wish to maintain them. Other than that, there's also the mix to complain about, with guitar work, synths and vocals unfortunately sounding like they're on the same 'level' (for lack of a better expression) which makes things annoyingly blurry here and there.

Now I know I haven't made it sound at all good yet, but please, allow me to arrive at what makes this band good in my ears: Quite simply, they're believable.. Or at least as close to believable as can be when playing a brand of power metal. You see, as opposed to Blessed By A Broken Heart, who have shamelessly poppified their metal and turned into an ironic joke on the bands that inspired them, and also that other atrocious 'band' I named, who have descended headfirst into idiocy, TMA haven't compromised on the things that made power metal work in the first place. The blinding leads, the huge choruses, the epic format - and most importantly: the absolute insanity it takes to inject some authenticity into your music when you're playing something as overblown as power metal.

With songs mostly ranging between five and seven minutes and revolving around apocalyptic sci-fi stories, The Morning After aren't out to make a joke out of their genre. In fact they seem to genuinely love it! Something that must be hard to admit in a world where it is mostly considered nerdy to really dig the universe of 'Maiden's lyrics or to truly like Kenny Loggins' "Dangerzone" and Cheap Trick's "Mighty Wings" - especially when your band looks more like trendy scenesters than long-haired Tolkien fans! For this reason alone, you should all flock around this band's banner, so that you will no longer have to pass such things off as guilty pleasures.

Back on planet "Mature" in the galaxy of "Objectivity", I guess I should be describing this album by speaking more of those guitars and how they sound a bit like those on Trivium's latest opus, or about how the lead vocals resemble Craig Mabbit (Escape The Fate), singing with the strain of M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) and aping the style of good old Bruce D. and maybe Dio (you better know who they are). I should tell you of the all round cool soloing, or of the great choruses in "Lost In Time", "The Heart Of The Young" and "Crush Kill Destroy". However, this review is already getting way too long, and to be honest, I am sadly aware that most of you will think I've gone bonkers for liking "You Can't Hurt Steel" anyway. Hence I'll just wrap things up and tell you to please give this a shot if you have any sort of faith in me (so that you may lose it) - even if I am forced to deduct substantial grades for the failed breakdowns and sound quality.

Download: Lost In Time, In The Heart Of The Young, Crush Kill Destroy
For The Fans Of: Blessed By A Broken Heart, Trivium (on "Shogun"), Escape The Fate's "Guillotine" songs, Top Gun's soundtrack, classic action movies, lasers, spaceships, swords, montages and final showdowns!
Listen: myspace.com/themorningafterrock

Release Date 06.07.2009
Rising Records

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