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Merry Steelmas

Season’s greetings. It’s been quite a while since we last posted a blog but we’ve been VERY busy over the last few months. Believe me, all has been far from quiet on the Steel front.

For a start, I moved to London back in August so the Steel is now primarily based in our country’s great capital. I’ve been in talks with loads of past members regarding filling the vacant slots in the band and I’m now pleased to announce that Shaft of Steel has a complete line-up once again.

You’ll have to wait until the New Year to find out who we’ve picked to fill the long vacant drummer, keyboardist and second guitarist slots, but it is definitely worth the anticipation. There’s a very familiar face making a return to the Steel fold and anyone who remembers my work in other bands prior/post-Steel will also see a couple of welcome surprises in the ranks.

In other news, ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex Shafts the Steel of Donkey Kong’ has become ‘Release the Lion Within’. Rob’s vocal work on this track is truly astounding and I can’t wait to unleash it on SoundCloud soon. Without a doubt, it’s the best thing we’ve recorded to date.

Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to the appeal for band members that I sent out on Facebook a while ago. It’s great to know that so many people remember us and, more importantly, wanted to offer their services to the band this time around.

That’s all for now. Prepare yourselves for Shaft of Steel v2.0. We will be victorious in our quest for ultimate metal glory!

Alex

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Another new clip!

Here’s a clip of the new version of Tyrannosaurus Rex Shafts the Steel of Donkey Kong. We have new lyrics for this, so the title will be changing when we’ve worked out what on Earth we’re going to call it.

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Track #1: Spinning Vortex of Love

It’s here! The brand new 2011 version of Spinning Vortex of Love! We’re really happy with how this has turned out and the reception it has been getting so far has been fantastic. Please forward the link on to your friends if you like what you hear.

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The next song to get the full treatment of Steel will be the reworked Tyrannosaurus Rex Shafts the Steel of Donkey Kong (we’ll be changing the name, probably). Look out for a preview clip in the coming weeks.

Alex

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Spinning Vortex of Love – The Words

Here’s another treat to whet your appetite for the new Steel EP – the BRAND SPANKING NEW lyrics to Spinning Vortex of Love! These have had a huge rewrite since back int’ day. All credit to Rob for his excellent work.

In other news, I received a shedload of backing vocals from Andy this week. Be prepared for an Andy Cooper choir of a magnitude that has never been witnessed before. Oh yeah, that is most definitely where it is at.

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That there t’internet is a reet useful thing

With band members living in different countries, the task of re-recording the Steel back catalogue could have proven to be very difficult. All I can say is THANK GOD for technology. As much I as loathe computers at times, this project would be nigh on impossible to attempt without the internet.

A lot of people have been asking me just exactly what method we’re using to record this time around. Well… All the drums are being recorded in a big open room with tonnes of reverb. Guitars are then being DI’d straight in and processed with a number of different amp modelling plug-ins. Rob and Andy are then recording their parts at home and are sending them over via Dropbox (a very useful file sharing program) to be mixed. All this is being done on my very modest home setup of a 13” Macbook Pro and 10 input USB audio interface. Cubase 6 is my DAW of choice for these sessions and I’m also using a small number of third party dynamics plug-ins for the mix. I’ve been a big advocate of Cubase for over a decade now. It’s always been the best program available for sequencing and with all the new features in version 6, it easily blows away all the competition.

Anyway, I’ve just listened a rough take of the new lyrics for Spinning Vortex that Rob has sent me and bloody hell, they sound great! I can’t wait for you all to hear the finished track.

Alex

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Preview clip: ‘Spinning Vortex of Love’

Here it is, the first clip from the new Steel EP! It’s been three long years since we last recorded anything (our cover of ‘Run With Us’, the theme from The Racoons) but this one definitely makes up for the wait. ‘Spinning Vortex of Love’ was the first song we wrote together as a band. It was dropped from our set many years ago due to a change in direction (moving away from Rush-influenced prog rock and more towards power metal). Now the cobwebs have been swept off this beast and it’s getting the production job that it deserves at last.

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For those of you interested in the production side of things, I’m aiming to record all the new Steel in a similar fashion to this. I’ve gone for a combination of the late 80s arena metal sound typified by Iron Maiden on albums such as Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and a more up-to-date ‘in your face’ mix akin to type of thing your would hear on any number of recent metalcore albums.

Enjoy!

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It’s amazing what you can find when you look hard enough

While going through a load of boxes containing various pieces of tat that I collected during my three years in Scarborough, I came across my old lyrics book. This fascinating work of literary genius contains the original words for such forgotten classics as ‘The Stalker Song’ and ‘Loose Women’. These songs will, of course, be getting the massively overblown production treatment that they deserve very soon.

Here’s a taster of what’s to come (all in the best possible taste, of course).

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