How an obscure Texas metal band gets discovered by a small record label in Thessaloniki, Greece, is a mystery to me. Xcel started in 1985 and cut their debut album, Deliver This Dream, the following year. Despite local success and their own best efforts, the band was plagued by poor promotion and screwed by unhelpful management companies. They disbanded a year later.
So Arkeyn Steel finds these guys, they dig up their old master tape, and the album is remixed and remastered for re-release. Actually, I'm not sure this helped. The mix is still uneven and stunted on Deliver This Dream. Nevertheless, what you have here is mid-Eighties melodic metal, not too heavy and sometimes nearing power metal. At times they remind of early Queensryche, one of their inspirations, mashed with Iron Maiden and a little Judas Priest.
You get some of this feel from vocalist Kevin Luke's style which ranges from calmly melodic to high-pitched piercing. Sometimes, on a song like Teaser or King of Fools, you're not sure if he even knows where he's heading. Another taste of the Priest side comes in music of the title track and most definitely Teaser. You get the Maiden vibe from The Last Ride of Ichabod Crane. Xcel attempts a power ballad with I'll Make It Someway but, excepting the guitar solos, it falls flat. Actually, the twin lead guitar work is quite satisfying. If anything, Deliver This Dream is glimpse into metal history making Xcel a true cult band. (Word has it that the band may be regrouping for another go at it.) Recommended.
Arkeyn Steel fishes deep into US metal history and snags, from Texas, Xcel and their only album Deliver This Dream, a platter of Eighties melodic metal.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]