Well, if ever there is a song that is more relevant in this moment in time, bring it to my attention as I won’t believe you. Steel Mage are a very young band from Manchester who have spent their time over the lockdown period venting their anger at the system and the world with this thrash-tastic tune. How can such good music come from a band in their teens, some members still at school?
Steel Mage combine old school thrash, modern and their own touches to create a monster that befalls their years. So let’s get to the track in question…
“Mandatory Detention” starts off with a speech from Boris Johnson for us to “Stay at home” and I was wondering if I had opened the wrong file. Quickly the guitars of Tommy and Louis come in and you recognise the tone and that this is song is going to be all out thrash. Louis with his venomous vocals, feeling the anger against the world situation, is soon immersed in talented drummer Jack coming in with all out blast beats, which is a new addition to the band’s sound.
Exodus and Testament come to mind, especially with the sound of Thomas’s bass lines reminiscent of Practice What You Preach-era Testament. There is a variety in tempo, with mid paced sections which get you banging your head and sections in which you can’t help feel the anger in the lyrics and get you into the pit.
If that’s what a single song can do for you, then Steel Mage are on the right track for bigger and better things. Guitar solos fly in left, right and centre without feeling out of place and makes this old fart wonder why he did not pick up the guitar at their age. What was also surprising was the use of clean vocals, which is again new to the band who are honing their sound to a fine art.
At almost five minutes in length, this is a good indicator as to where Steel Mage are going with their sound and I for one will be keeping an eye on what they do now.
Mandatory Detention will be released on January 1st and was recorded in Kesbri Studios in Bolton. Pre-orders can be made from their bigcartel page.