Steel Prophet: Power Supremacy From Out Of The West Page 2

The sound is majestic, and the lyrics span universals, as Steve explains, in service of the big picture. "I guess part of the whole thing with Steel Prophet is that we want our music to portray and convey something big and powerful, like the presence of a deity or something like that. Obviously that is setting yourself up with a really big goal. Spiritual themes come into play, that unseen force that is going on in the world. That's the kind of thing we're trying to expose a little bit."

A European tour is in the cards, provided the right one comes around. Two have been pondered and turned down already, the band more or less, waiting for the gig that will rocket them to the next level. So next sunny festival show or dingy German bar-hop, look for the guys with the short hair. "Yeah, that's become one of our trademarks" laughs Steve. "Part of it is the freedom to do whatever we want. Which is part of the reason we got into heavy metal in first place, wearing our long hair, which was our way of standing up for what we believe in, being free. And now, oddly it's much the same thing. We feel we don't want to be part of a cliche, and have the long hair, and wear leather and studs. As a matter of fact, I think it's doing something that will make us stand out. You have bands like Metallica that have short hair, and aren't doing the kind of metal they used to. But here we are doing balls to the wall, all-out metal, and we have short hair. Let people figure it out."

One wonders that with the glut of it out there, does the band mind being called power metal? "It's OK with me. When I think of power metal though, I think about the band that first used the term, and as far as I know, that was Metallica, back what they did Ride The Lightning. A critic asked them how they classified themselves, and they said 'power metal'. And I look at us as in line with that, with a little more of a progressive element. But a lot of bands are called power metal, and I say, where is the power? There's bands like Rhapsody and Labyrinth, and that's power metal!? I don't see anything powerful about that. Those guys are like melodic speed or something. But yeah, we fit the tag. In terms of the new American guard or whatever, I guess I would consider us in there with Iced Earth, Jag Panzer, Destiny's End, Agent Steel, Kamelot, those kinds of bands."

But at this point in time (and you soldiers reading this can change it!), the above acts can make a pretty good living on European CD sales and tours, but home in America, forget it. Steve stays realistic on the situation. "Headlining out here isn't the greatest idea. Right now, I think Dio is going to come in to play The House Of Blues and we're going to see if we can get on that show. But there isn't much coming out that is worth doing. And even if we grouped together, like us and Agent Steel, New Eden, Destiny's End, Cage is from down in San Diego, even that would still be like a gamble. There isn't anybody visible that is behind this whole thing. It's definitely underground. There is no radio, print, nobody locally that is even remotely trying to talk about us."

But of course, the album is there for any household stateside to obtain. Once inside it, prepare for speed, virtuosity, sinewy guitar lines, hooks a' plenty and one of the best vocalists on the U.S. scene, save for that dude in Jacob's Dream (another killer act of the new breed). As seems to be the standard, look for the band to spread its wings a bit in the coming months. Steve is doing some work with vocalist Sandra Schleret from Austria's Dreams Of Sanity, and vocalist Rick Mythiasin has worked on five tracks with members of Edguy. Also in the cards, and due out through Nuclear Blast in the Autumn, a two CD set comprising the band's 1990 six track demo entitled Inner Ascendance coupled with a second disc stuffed with the band's many tribute tracks lovingly carved over the years.