Q5 – Steel The Light [No Remorse Records remaster 2-CD] (2018)
Regarded as a US metal cult classic, Q5‘s first album “Steel The Light” from 1984 has been fully remastered into this “Steel The Light [No Remorse Records remaster 2-CD]“ double CD release, including a bonus disc with previously unreleased material.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Q5 formed in 1983 and they blended traditional hard rock with melodic and straight-forward metal. Think like amix between Judas Priest circa 1982 and early Dokken.
The band is famous as well for their lead guitarist, Floyd Rose, yes, the guy who invented the whammy bar / bridge, made so popular by Eddie Van Halen and countless more.
The band’s debut, ‘Steel the Light’, was originally released by their own Albatross Productions label back in 1984, a time when the genres starting to evolve and the distinction between “Heavy Metal” and “Hard Rock” was not clear; the ‘US Metal’.
A lot of the things that would define classic metal are present including the high, screaming vocals, crunchy riffs and a fair amount of speed. Also present is some bright and bluesy songwriting as well as feel-good lyrics that are more in line with the Hard Rock of the early ’80s.
Indeed, there was a lot of bands at the time cultivating this mix of melodic, technical and charming style of metal that was only found on USA, due the refined melodies and influences from Melodic Rock / Hard Rock; the new sub-genre called US Metal.
Q5 were great at it, and ‘Steel the Light’ is plenty of hard n’ heavy songs built over hooking melodies and great choruses. Their music is pretty amazing, even today after all these years.
This new version of “Steel the Light” was remastered by Bart Gabriel (Avenger) giving the songs a new life without destroying what was done back on 1984. It’s still heavy and abrasive as on those days, but cleaner and ready for modern audio equipment.
On the first CD, you find the main album remastered. The energy shown on “Missing in Action”, “Lonely Lady” (a fine blend of Judas Priest influences with the US melodic aesthetics), the hooking rhythm of title track “Steel the Light” (the bass and drums technique is really amazing), and the oppressive melodic hooking grasp of “Pull the Trigger” (these nasty charming guitars are really something lovely) are among the strongest moments.
On the more hard rocking, catchy side check “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady”, the headbanging stadium-ready “Rock On”, and the melodic hard rocker “Teenage Runaway”, another favorite of mine.
The second CD features some really excellent and rare / unreleased material. “That’s Alright with You” is the B-side from the title track 12” vinyl single (first time on CD), while the rest are really well taped demos from 1983-84, plus some live tracks. All worthy material.
As said, musically this is a mix of ‘Americanized’ Judas Priest and early Dokken, Helix, even Dio. All enjoyable stuff.
Q5’s ‘Steel The Light’ has been reissued many times, but dubiously legitimate. This “Steel The Light [No Remorse Records remaster 2-CD]” is the real thing, the definitive version of this really good album.
It’s a Limited Edition, so hurry up, it will turn out of print soon.
Disc 1: Steel The Light Remastered
01 – Missing in Action
02 – Lonely Lady
03 – Steel the Light
04 – Pull the Trigger
05 – Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady
06 – In the Night
07 – Come and Gone
08 – Rock On
09 – Teenage Runaway
Disc 2: The Rare & Unreleased
01 – That’s Alright With You (Steel the Light 12” Single B-Side)
02 – Nothing Ventured – Nothing Gained (Demo 1984)
03 – She’s a Dancer (Demo 1984)
04 – Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady (Demo 1984)
05 – In the Night (Demo 1984)
06 – Waiting for Your Love (Demo 1984)
07 – Teenage Runaway (Demo 1984)
08 – Our Love Has Come and Gone (Demo 1984)
09 – Your Love Is the Best Love (Unreleased Demo 1983)
10 – Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady (Live Seattle 1983)
11 – That’s Alright With You (Live Seattle 1983)
12 – Steel the Light (Live Radio Broadcast Seattle 1984)
Jonathan K. – vocals
Floyd Rose – guitars
Evan Sheeley – bass, keyboards
Rick Pierce – guitars
Gary Thompson – drums, percussion
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