It is once again my distinct pleasure to recommend some great traditional metal revival to you all! Huzzah! Substratum hail from Seattle, a city whose role in music needs no exposition. They play a no frills, no apologies New Wave of British Heavy Metal type of music so you know what to expect; thick bass riffs straight from the repertoire of one Steve Harris, soaring vocals, sci-fi themes and kick ass riffs. Don’t forget the riffs, since they’re incredibly kick ass. All these elements are amplified by two facts: the first is that Substratum have chosen to reproduce the best parts of the British New Wave, namely those parts with longer tracks, interesting lyrics and varied compositions. The second is that Substratum don’t really give a fuck about anything other than having a good time and making good music. Head on over the break to have a taste for yourself; don’t forget to bring your leather jacket.
Oh boy, hell yeah! The Iron Maiden are obviously all over this track. None of this would work if it wasn’t for two band members, namely the vocalist and the bass player. The first has a really full and powerful timbre, easily carrying the huge parts which “Sun Rider” work. The latter has that solid, skillful and fun touch that the aforementioned Harris is famous for. In general, it’s easy to hear from “Sun Rider” how much fun these guys are having; they just love this music and they know how to make it. This of course extends to the great guitar parts, bridges, solo and riffs all and to the drums, solid and thick as they should be.
I’m going to allow myself to link you to another track below because I had a really hard time choosing between it and “Sun Rider”. “Deadly Will” belongs to the same category as “Sun Rider”; they’re both fast and heavy but also intricate and clever, the best types of heavy metal tracks. From the opening fury of the initial riffs and spitfire backing vocals, through the excellent choruses replete across the track, it’s just pure, unadulterated heavy metal power. Throw in a Satanic Rites cover in the form of “Cast My Spell”, embellish with a few more killer tracks and you have Stratosphere, Substratum’s most recent release. So, what are you waiting for? Crack open a cold one, roll down that window, and get ready to headbang.