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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Q5 - 1985 Steel The Light
Q5 - 1985 Steel The Light

ALBUM: Steel The Light
LABEL: Music For Nations
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2000, High Vaultage, HV-1032


LINEUP: Johnathan K - vocals * Floyd Rose - guitars * Rick Pierce - guitars * Evan Sheeley - bass, keyboards * Gary Thompson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 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

Another band from the booming metal scene of Seattle during the early eighties. Started in 1983 by guitar maestro Floyd Rose (inventor of the guitar tremolo system - which all guitarists should know of), he hooked up with ex T.K.O members to start Q5. The band's material was particularly good for it's time, and they secured a local deal on the Albatross label during 1984, with a European distribution early the next year. It's melodic metal, with a European slant, the dual guitar-work from Rose and Pierce leaning their style alongside Matthias Jabs and Rudolf Schenker of The Scorpions, though the tried and true riffs of AC/DC get a look in as well..

The Songs
Firing on all sixes is the opener 'Missing In Action'.. guitar overdrive with a vocal growl from Jonathan K to match. Metal anthems such as 'Pull The Trigger' and the title track 'Steel The Light' lift this album a notch above the ordinary. The AC/DC riffarama rears it's head on tracks such as 'Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady' and 'Teenage Runaway'. The track 'In The Night' has the same smoky quality as Florida's Stranger, while the token ballad 'Come And Gone' doesn't quite do it for me. Fortunately, they are redeemed on the memorable riff-fest that is 'Lonely Lady'. Great stuff, particularly the guitar solo where Floyd does his best to crash-test his product, with a serious whammy bar bending session!

In Summary
With 'Steel The Light', Q5 managed to create a buzz in Europe, but it wasn't long before they went back into the studio for more. They managed to spend some quality time for their second release 'When The Mirror Cracks' during 1986. On this one, the band ventured into AOR territory - unfortunately the end result wasn't that great. The material was so overblown and the songs lacked real 'attention grabbing' qualities, that a lot of the momentum generated from 'Steel The Light' was lost. However, for a sonic blast from the past, 'Steel The Light' is an album worth catching up with.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on July 20 2008 22:47:25
The original US release had completely different cover art. Bernard Doe at 'Metal Forces' was a huge fan. He used to inisist that this album was better than TKO's 'In Your Face', a record that had been recorded long before Q5's (ironically also featuring Sheeley, Pierce and Thompson) but they came not that long apart.
What DID Sheeley look like in the Q5 press shots though?! The Michelin Man gone rock!
#2 | rkbluez on November 27 2009 14:18:34
A favorite album of mine since it's release...remember this getting a lot of hype in the European mags but not much here in the States...very sad as this album was a real hard rocking masterpiece...I never get sick of listening to classic's like Steal The Light and Missing In Action...timeless hard rockers for sure.

As for TKO always liked 'Let It Roll' better than 'In Your Face' was a lot more melodic and original.
#3 | sabace on August 29 2013 19:45:12
love both lps - but this lp is my fave!
#4 | rkbluez on February 21 2016 19:03:13
Worthy of a Rock Candy release for sure...both Q5 albums were classic.
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