STEVE BLOWER first came to my attention when he was a part of HAMEREX. That to me was a very much underrated Heavy Metal band from the UK. Within that band he became one of the main songwriters. After some 14 years with them (from 2004 until 2018) and a number of albums, he went on to do his own thing. The first thing he started working on was “Thunder And Lightning”, the EP that I am listening to right now. It got put on hold in order to start to record some albums, as STEVE kept on writing material, which he decided was good enough to release to the unsuspecting world. Only recently he decided to get back to his first attempt and get it finished in order to release it.
Before you ask, you can order all of his music through his Bandcamp site, and there isn’t a release there that doesn’t deliver. And thankfully everything is very reasonably priced. But let’s get back to “Thunder And Lightning”. This is old fashioned Heavy metal with a slight Progressive feel. If you need a reference as to what I am listening to, I’ll give you a reference that everyone of us will understand.
If you think the current IRON MAIDEN is too much of a project, being too difficult and too progressive, and you’d rather go back to the time when they were a lot simpler and still very adventurous, like they were up and until “Powerslave”, you need to look no further. That is the kind of music that STEVE BLOWER is bringing to you on this EP. No, he hasn’t copied them one on one, but the feeling you do get by a lot of the music on offer does direct you that way. The galloping rhythms, even the voice will remind you of our peers.
The fact that he has done it all by himself is very commendable. And he is right by doing it this way. Of course, the bass playing is a lot less in your face than at IRON MAIDEN, but the drumming and riffing does sound quite familiar. It makes “Thunder And Lightning” into a very pleasant listening experience. The only thing I wish he would have different is the production. I find the sound just that bit too flat, too much condensed. It would have been nice to hear some more dynamics there. That would have lifted the overall rating by at least one full point.
Wim Van Grunsven