HistoryThese unlikely Bradford power metallers were formed while the members were at college in 1998, but owing to their sound like to claim an inception dating back to 1980. In fact, the band’s pure and vintage heavy/power metal sound - not to mention lyrics and denim outfits - would support such a claim. The demo Priests Of Metal lead to a Conquest Of Steel/Evanesce split in 2003 and a full-length in 2004.
The May Your Blade Never Dull of 2007 featured rerecorded material from the Priests Of Metal release as well as a new song. Chris was temporarily out of the band in September of 2007 after he broke his hand and was replaced by a John Savage. The group toured the Benelux with Scavenger. Germany and UK were also visited. Hammer And Fist was issued in 2007. The band began working on its third album in the spring of 2008. The record, a concept album named Storm Sword was a tale of a dystopian future set in a medieval past. The band was entering the studio in order to record its third album Storm Sword (Rise Of The Dread Queen) in the autumn of 2008. It was a concept album. It was due through No Face Records in February. Chris 'The Destroyer' Mills was in the hospital in December of 2009 recovering from surgery to remove an infected appendix. The surgery was successful, but he had to return to hospital with a severe infection in the wound. The Destroyer was expected out of hospital in time and would then begin a period of recuperation before he was able to return to take his position back behind his drum kit. In the event of his not being fit for the January shows stand-in drummer John Savage (Hypnosis) was on standby. Conquest Of Steel was ensconced in Priory Studio, Birmingham from the 3rd to 5th of December of 2010 to record three new tracks for its upcoming 7" single. It was due in early 2011 through No Face Records. Conquest Of Steel would release its Victorious In Defeat 7" single on the 7th of March 2011 through No Face Records. The UK's Conquest Of Steel announced a fourth album, called Of Fire And Steel, in 2013. The album was to be released on No Face Records on the 2nd of December 2013 and would be available on CD, limited edition coloured vinyl, cassette and digital download. Following the departure of guitarist James 'Claymore' Clarke Conquest Of Steel threw in the towel. The band’s four planned concerts, including an appearance at Bloodstock, would be the group’s last.
Durrant committed suicide in 2020 reportedly worried about the pandemic. Conquest Of Steel and his subsequent cover band played tribute shows.
CONQUEST OF STEEL - Same - NO FACE
Conquest Of Steel is to heavy metal what The Darkness was to rock music. There is a slight shadow of a doubt regarding whether the group is completely, utterly and irretrievably serious, but other than that this is vintage heavy metal with a hint of Iron Maiden. The savage riffing, screaming vocals, odes to the veracity of heavy metal and patches on denim jackets leave little room for false styles and posers.
Take song titles like Only The Devil Can Stop Us Now, Bitch Of Steel, Hard Rockin’ Steel and Metal Witch. This is the stuff that has barely survived in the dark corners of Germany and Holland. The fact that these guys hail from Yorkshire in the UK adds to the marvel.
The band’s edge has been dulled due to a cheap production, although even that is probably true to the group’s roots. Fans who were banging heads in 1981 or still live for that stuff need to get Conquest Of Steel. - Anna Tergel
CONQUEST OF STEEL - MAY YOUR BLADE NEVER DULL - NO FACE
Conquest Of Steel’s May Your Blade Never Dull is a British metal band with allegiances to early '80s metal, NWOBHM and very early Savatage and Iron Maiden. Yeah, I know, how ironic that the group hails from the United Kingdom!
May Your Blade Never Dull is a 2005 production, 2006 release that is signed off in 2007. The mini album contains old songs from the Priests Of Metal disc that band independently issued and a newer song. The biggest difference between the songs here and the band’s eponymous debut is the vocals of Dan Durrant. There is less power and enthusiasm here compared to the full-length. It is to the band’s detriment; otherwise the songs are vintage hard rock that occasionally sounds like Slough Feg. The best is left for last which is where the old number Steel Is The Law sits. - Anna Tergel
CONQUEST OF STEEL - HAMMER & FIST - NO FACE
I believe Conquest Of Steel has fallen victim to the classic 'sophomore album syndrome.' The album’s aggressive name, violent cover and promotional shot of the denim-clad band all indicate otherwise, but Hammer & Fist is not quite as aggressive as the band’s earlier music. Just check out the video of the band’s earlier songs on the group’s website!
Several songs drag on too long, the melodies dominate, the vocal harmonies are excruciating and the Maiden-isms are confined to melody not heaviness (or genius) of the NWOBHM leaders. On the plus side, the band is pure traditional metal and good songs exist. I Am Legend is inspired by Running Wild, while Call Of The Wild is a good cut.
Conquest of Steel needs to cut out the numerous harmonies, cease beginning every track with either and intro or acoustic segment and adopt real metal as its mantra again. And, oh, please stop singing about “Valhalla” and “Valkyrie” or worse combing them into one song. It has been done to death. - Anna Tergel
CONQUEST OF STEEL - STORM SWORD - RISE OF THE DREAD QUEEN - NO FACE
As has been repeatedly mentioned in our pages, concept albums are fraught with danger and exposed to risk. Nary a band has pulled one off, but egos never cease and these records keep a coming. At the risk of repeating what you have already read in the pages of Metallian, a concept album is, by definition, subservient to a story that likely drags down heavy metal into the abyss of pomp, keyboards, female vocals, violin, effects and dubbed noise which detracts from heaviness, speed, purity, and most likely of all, quality. One can think of very few bands that have pulled one off. Sabbat has, King Diamond has and Queensrÿche has to some extent. A thousand other bands have miserably failed even if they have names like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Iced Earth.
These were the thoughts running through my mind before opening up the album biography supplied by the label and noticing how much trepidation is expressed there as well. No Face Records is no stranger to these feelings either.
Well, how is Storm Sword then? Sixty out of a hundred denotes 'above average', which is rather good given all the twists and turns, female vocals, effects and even violin on this album. Those all exist, yet Conquest Of Steel does many things well too. Given that fact, perhaps the group should have bashed together an unabashed heavy metal album that striked hard all the way instead. Nevertheless, again as mentioned, the band manages a very capable vocal performance courtesy of Dan Durrant as well as some raging up-beat riffing. Conquest Through Fire And Steel, for instance, or Unholy Union after the female whining stops are prime examples of what this band is capable. At times, the group does a Manowar reminding the listener of the Lords of lard, while at others the old Iced Earth guitar riff sound makes an appearance. Those comparisons are not pervasive however and are just part of the story. Another part could be Conquest Of Steel taking the bull by the horn and exploding out on its next record with an album of quality yet unreservedly heavy metal album. Trash the violin in other words. - Ali “The Metallian”
CONQUEST OF STEEL - VICTORIOUS IN DEFEAT - NO FACE
This so-called 7” is a four-track release limited to 333 copies and is meant to “resist the forthcoming glam rock resurgence”. The music is certainly basic, if nothing else, and it is also traditional but it is a stretch to describe Paid In Steel, the opener, as heavy. Manowar-type influences are obvious for Conquest Of Steel and Paid In Steel remains true to that. Man Of The Dragon brings in some dose of heaviness with a driving riff. One Thousand Lives (Of War) helps the heavy metal credentials but comparing this to NWOBHM bands is somewhat unfair to those pioneers of decades past. There is just something lacking. The lack of seriousness attributed to Conquest Of Steel is in plain sight when the fourth track, a live version of I Am Legend (from Hammer & Fist), starts with Dan Durrant introducing the band and song as a “Traditional heavy metal band and this next song is about an ancient warrior, fairly unusual for heavy metal lyrics to write about such a thing but we do”. A let down. - Ali “The Metallian”
CONQUEST OF STEEL - OF FIRE & STEEL - NO FACE
First full-length in four years for these "hairy men playing heavy music like it really matters." This is ten songs and probably the most standard (melodic) heavy metal around. Of Fire & Steel is heavy metal and war themes wrapped in Iron Maiden inspired songs. All Men Must Die starts things off and the most notable aspect of the song is that Dan Durrant doesn't seem to break a sweat, the vocals seem to flow simply without being poor or boring. Metal All The Time is catchy and has a good tempo. Bring The Thunder's attitude and lyrics present a mismatch with the music itself, that is often times Of Fire & Steel is more macho and 'metal warrior' like in lyrics than in music. Death Awaits Us On The Shore is not shy to borrow Iron Maiden riffs. The Warrior And The Witch tries to up the tempo and is speedy in parts. Horned Viper keeps the tempo up. Mountain = Power comes out as a weaker effort. Vengeance And Metal includes some more of the driving riffs and speed. Here Comes The Metal is Conquest Of Steel's attempt at an anthem or at least THE song to use in live shows with screams of 'Here comes the metal' and 'I want to hear you scream my name'. Iron Fist On The Battlefield (Of War) is the most war (or is it Manowar?) themed song on Of Fire & Steel.
Originality does not and is not meant to exist here. For traditional and '80s heavy metal fans. - Anna Tergel