Sometimes an album, or even a band, is of its time. This re-issued debut from New Jersey (at the time) upstarts Exxplorer definitely falls into that categorization – but, in a good way.
Quite rightly, when first released three decades ago, ‘Symphonies Of Steel’ was regarded as a groundbreaking album, and this re-release, while sounding somewhat dated, does stand testimony to the originality which the band brought to the then burgeoning US melodic metal scene. Like most bands emerging out of the USA’s underground at that time, Exxplorer were obviously very much influenced by the NWOBHM, which simultaneously was reshaping the sound and appearance of the rock scene on this side of the pond.
However, while contemporaries such as Metallica were seeking to up the ante in terms of speed and power, Exxplorer delved deep into the progressive roots of the anti-punk rock revival, with the acerbic, layered guitars of Kevin Kennedy and Ed LaVolpe defying the trend for short, punchy riffs by extrapolating the melodies as far as they could. While tracks like ‘Run For Tomorrow’ appear deceptively simple, the likes of the sweeping two-part ‘Objection Overruled’ demonstrate the
At the end of the night, ‘Symphonies Of Steel’ is not a truly classic metal album: but, it is one which marks a period in the development of the metal sound – and especially that emanating from the States – as we know it today.
City Streets / Prelusion / Run For Tomorrow / Exxplorer / World War III / Going To Hell / Objection Overruled I: Guilty As Charged / Objection Overruled II: Phantasmagoria / Metal Detectors / X-Termination
Recommended listening: World War III
‘Symphonies Of Steel’ is re-released as a limited run of 300 vinyl albums by Pure Steel Records on February 20.