It's a welcome change of pace to hear a band whom has listened and understood Magnum and Marillion and began updating that vibe into tight unit called Steel Seal. The Lion's Den is an entertaining collection of power metal and hard rock songs rich in melody and composition. Backed by a wildly talented keyboardist (Adriano Rossi) and a fantastic vocalist (Fabio Lione) who sings like the second coming of Glenn Hughes this band is off to a strong start in the metal tournament for your attention.
Songs like "Never Die," "Master of Hell," and "Open Fire" really showcase Steel Seal's ability to make familiar musical notions exciting again by stretching combined talents into better forms of servicing the song. There are flashes of utter brilliance on this album as evidenced by the track "Fate Knocking At Your Door" a rousing number kicked into high gear with super percussion and machine gun vocals that still retain their tonal clarity. The final track "Wake or Sleep" is a Jethro Tull-laced "Aqualung" influenced mid-tempo piece that has such gravity you are surprised it is the final song to the album instead of the end of the first half of a double album.
The production values of an album with no central thesis manages to keep the material consistent and confident in its methods of melodic delivery. Steel Seal is one of those bands that continue to get better with each release and if they choose to stand above a crowded universe of metal warriors they must make their mark through a trial by fire. The end results, like Samurai sword crafting, the longer in the flames the stronger the shiny blade for battle, for honor and for life.
01. Never Die
02. Master of Hell
03. Open Fire
04. Break your Chains
05. Fate (Knocking at your Door)
07. A Dream Within a Dream
08. In For the Kill
09. Waiting for the Rain
10. Wake or Sleep