Music holds itself as a unique means of expression, much like any other art form, and through it you can experience the passion of the artist and connect on some level with the message they have created. The force of the message either subtly brushes your mind or it hits you with all the subtlety of a bulldozer going over an outhouse. Sometimes the message isn’t even in a language you understand, but you get the emotion being communicated.
From the land of Argentina comes a band with heart (and steel testicles) playing music in style that will give you old school metal nostalgia: Steelballs. Started in 2013, but after several distractions they recently became serious about playing their brand of South American power metal to a larger audience so they signed up with Witches Brew to release their first EP ‘Steelballs’ in December 2016.
‘Steelballs’ plays at tempo so furiously quick that before you get to appreciate the full scope of the talent on display the EP ends and you feel a need to play it again to see what you may have missed. This is not an exaggeration: a second listen is necessary to hear where the tribute to their influences ends and the band’s actual talent starts. ‘Steelballs’ clocks in at just over 15 minutes but you get to hear a hearty mix of speed and power metal that has such a hazy tinge that you would be reminded of the glory years of Helloween, Blind Guardian, Manowar and some traditional heavy metal. In short: expect cheese. So much cheese.
It must be stated that English is obviously not their first language but whilst it may distract some, it should be considered part of their charm. Where there are grammatically suspect lyrics with fantasy imagery awkwardly shoehorned in, they make up for in competent riffs, thundering drums, decent guitar solos, high-pitched vocals and sheer invigorating guitar play. The core of the EP draws its true power from an obvious source: power chords (even more cheese).
Three songs and one Helloween cover are not much to go on, but you do get a sense that this band has passion and determination to play. For some that may not mean much, especially when they play in a style that is very much like their heroes but the true test will be once they have a more extensive catalog to play for all their fans and critics to hear.
The only downsides that you can attribute to Steelballs and their EP is the lack of readily available material, music that they have made their own and the slightly clumsy package in which the music presents itself. Passion is the glue that holds everything together but creativity is what will ensure the band has staying power.
Give it listen, see where it grabs you – by the balls, aye. A straight forward expression and it gets the idea across – same thing with Steelballs.
Vocals: Juan Pablo Churruarín
Guitar/Backing Vocals: Lucas Galarza
Guitar/Backing Vocals: Juan Manuel Herrera
Bass/Backing Vocals: Mario Federíco Viggiani
Drums: Nicolás Giménez
‘Steelballs’ Track Listing:
- Inquisitor of Faith
- Starlight (Helloween Cover)
- - 6/106/10