s/t MLP 40th Anniversary LTD SPLATTER

High Roller Records, 40th Anniversary edition,...
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High Roller Records, 40th Anniversary edition, red/ bone splatter vinyl, ltd 200, HRR mailorder exclusive, 425gsm heavy cardboard cover, poster, A5 photo card, lyric sheet, mastered by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in July 2023. Cutting by SST Germany on Neumann machines for optimal quality on all levels... The ultimate audiophile reissue of this eternal US Metal classic! 01 Medieval Steel 02 Warlords 03 Battle Beyond the Stars 04 Echoes Medieval Steel were orignally formed in Memphis, Tennessee in the spring of 1982. In the beginning they were playing covers in local clubs, before starting to write their own material (which was later compared to bands like Queensryche and Crimson Glory). “Once we solidified the line-up, we knew we had a solid band, we started playing out,” explains vocalist Bobby Franklin today, “and the next step was apparent to us that we needed to write and record our own music if we expected to go somewhere in this business.” It took the band another two years to record the songs “Medieval Steel”, “Warlods”, “Battle Beyond The Stars” and “Echoes” for their now legendary debut EP. “When I wrote and recorded it, I had no idea it would take on a life of its own,” reflects Bobby Franklin. “I would say we probably had ten or eleven songs to choose from. The reason we did not record a full album was financial. The recordings went smooth and quick. We would rehearse three to four hours a day the ten to eleven songs. Then we picked the four we wanted to do, then rehearsed those for about two weeks, so we were well prepared.” He adds: “At this time we were all young guys, working regular jobs. We knew we had something special, so our guitarist Chuck Jones (rest in peace!) went to his father to ask him to finance the record. Him being such a wonderful man, he decided to finance it. Thank him for it.” Unfortunately, the original four-song EP did not come with a lyric sheet due to financial restrictions: “We had a limited budget, it was either spend more on mixing recorded or spend on artwork, we decided to go with recording.” The EP came out on SUR Records, a label in Memphis that owned a studio: “They had no metal bands and mostly did country and blues. So I must say it was a shock to their system having us come in. But they were all good people and treated us well. Jack Holder was the engineer and co-produced. He played in a band called Cobra, after that he decided he wanted to be an engineer/producer, and he was excellent at it (rest in peace, my friend). I believe 3,000 vinyl copies were pressed, and I think there were 1,000 cassettes. As soon as it got to Europe, people heard about it and they were gone in no time. Even without the internet and pre-sale the buzz was out there once the record was released. This was before cell phones and internet. The accolades were all sent by letter. We loved that because you can see their actual handwriting and it gave it more of a personal touch.” The situation at home, however, was slightly different: “In our area, around Memphis and the south, it’s part of the Bible Belt, churches on every corner, so a band like us, coming out with leather and chains, it was a shock to the older generation not used to seeing that in this part of the country. But the younger people loved it and flocked to our shows.” The song “Medieval Steel” has over the years become well-known in European metal circles. Bobby Franklin on the band’s signature song: “When you have a song such as ‘Medieval Steel’, and it’s your band name, it has to be powerful and significant to stand the test of time. When we do our shows, people wait with baited breath for that song. There have been so many times I couldn’t hear myself singing that song because the crowd was so loud.” “Battle Beyond The Stars” has also become a classic, another fantastic number, of which Bobby says: “That’s another song that is really fun to play live because it has high energy. ‘Warlords’ is another song that the fans really like along with others.” After the EP Medieval Steel inked a deal with Megaforce Records, changed the band name to Fire Choir and also changed their musical style. In retrospective, Bobby Franklin sees that as a mistake: “I wasn’t happy with the change, it was more of a commercial sound and that wasn’t me. But I was willing to deal with it because if the band got signed, I would have my foot in the door to do a solo thing or restart Medieval Steel. I went back to Memphis and restarted Medieval Steel.” “I think it’s fantastic”, says the vocalist about the 40th anniversary of their »Medieval Steel« EP on High Roller Records, “because a lot of bands do not stay around for that long. Merlin and André of High Roller have been fantastic easy to work with. We are going to talk more in-depth with them about the release of the new Medieval Steel »Blood Moon« record, which in my opinion, is our best record to date. It’s just as powerful as our other songs but more aggressive.” MATTHIAS MADER

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