STEEL ASSASSIN - From the Vaults  LP
STEEL ASSASSIN - From the Vaults  LP
STEEL ASSASSIN - From the Vaults  LP
STEEL ASSASSIN - From the Vaults  LP
STEEL ASSASSIN - From the Vaults LP

HRR 163, limited to 500 copies, 150 x easter yellow vinyl + 350 x black vinyl, 4 page lyric insert

Doni Escolas - lead vocals
Kevin Curran - lead guitar
Mike Mooney - lead guitar, back vocals
Phil Grasso - bass, back vocals
Greg Michalowski - drums

-Falling Steel
-Demon Hell Rougues
-Attilla the Hun
-Sorcerer's Mistress
-Barbarians on the Frontier
-Heavy Metal Soldiers


Sandwiched between their superb “CA-35” 7" single and the long-awaited new studio album “World War II: Metal of Honor”, US Metal legend Steel Assassin will be releasing their “From the Vaults” compilation on glorious vinyl through High Roller Records. Bassist Phil Grasso details the history of “From the Vaults”: “I released ‘From the Vaults’ on my own GME Record label in 1998. I also released Madd Hunter s/t and Madd Hunter ‘Silence of the Lamb’ on my label. The Greek release was years later. It was a legitimate release, per se, but then they bootlegged my Madd Hunter ‘Silence of the Lamb’ CD without my permission, and I didn't get paid for that one. They released that CD as ‘Raiders from the North’.” Re-mastering the original tapes for the vinyl release of “From the Vaults” is not an easy task, as Phil explains: “The thing is that recording was already on a 1/4" mixdown tape when we discovered it, and it was about 12 years old at the time, and starting to disintegrate. So there was only so much we could do as far as E.Q. and things like that for the original CD. It's not like we had a 2" master tape in pristine condition that we could remix and master. We were stuck with what we were stuck with, and did the best we could with it given the circumstances.” The original cover artwork looked pretty old-school, according to Phil Grasso: “That cover was a quick and cheap endeavor. I came up with the original concept quickly. I just wanted to use an image of the band, and in that time, the main image of the band was Doni in his leather and studs and his swords. So that's where the arm with the sword came from. That's actually my arm holding my great-great grandfather's sword. He was in the Civil War. And as for the mausoleum, that is located in a cemetery not far from my house. So I just took a photo of it and had a graphic guy put the two photos together. Simple as that. Remember at the time I just released my Madd Hunter CD, which cost a lot of money, and I was going to college at the time. So I didn't have a lot of money to spend on a lavish production. So it was either something basic like that or nothing ...” Phil continues to talk about the material on the record: “It's basically three demos that were done between 1983 and 1984. The first demo was in 1983 before I joined the band, and Steve Bunker was the bass player. The songs ‘Cobra’, ‘Demon Hell Rogues’, and ‘Heavy Metal Soldiers’ were done at that time. Then in late 1983 or early 1984, soon after I joined the band, we went in and did another demo. The songs ‘Spartacus’, ‘Phaeton’, ‘Falling Steel’ and ‘Executioner’ were done at that time. That recording of ‘Executioner’ also ended up on ‘Metal Massacre IV’ on Metal Blade Records in 1985 I think. The rest of the songs were recorded during a demo session sometime later in 1984.”
Steel Assassin were never known for their constant output of releases back in the past and now, in the 2000's, Phil Grasso and the boys are releasing one vinyl after the other. How comes? Phil: “For the vinyl releases you have to give all credit to Steffen at High Roller Records, and to our fans that are into vinyl. It was Steffen who initially approached us about releasing ‘In Hellfire forged’. We are all pretty ignorant about the vinyl craze. None of us even owns a record player. But Steffen felt that Steel Assassin vinyl would be something fans would want. So ‘In Hellfire forged’ was I guess the test. And apparently it sold well, otherwise I don't think Steffen would have gone ahead to offer to put out our other releases. So I'm glad for him as well as us that things are going so well for the vinyl releases.”
Fans of Steel Assassin are already looking forward to the new studio album, which can’t be that far away: “We're going into the studio in May to begin recording. I'm guessing the release will be sometime in the fall of 2011. The songs, like the single's songs ‘CA-35’ and ‘Breakout at St. Lo’, deal with battles and events of World War II. We were planning on putting both ‘CA-35’ and ‘Breakout at St. Lo’ on the new record, but we had extra ‘World War II’ songs written. And since we already recorded both songs during the ‘In Hellfire forged’ session, it didn't make sense to just re-record two older songs for the record when we had enough brand new material that would fit on the record. If it was just a CD we were dealing with, it would have not been an issue, because you can fit like 80 minutes of music on it. But since we started dealing with vinyl, I think you're limited to like 44 minutes of music in that format. So we decided to release the previous ‘World War II’ songs as a single and use all the brand new previously unheard and unrecorded ‘World War II’ material for the actual full-length album.”
Matthias Mader