Steel Rhino

Label: GMR Music
Three similar bands: Firewind/Bai Bang/Saxon

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Rhino Attack
2. Arrival
3. Lovin Easy
4. Steel Rhino
5. Bells Of Midnight
6. Fire And Ice
7. Ghost From The Past
8. Sands Of Time
9. Life We Choose
10. Boom Boom
11. New Tomorrow


Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Mikael Rosengren - Drums
Filip Vilhelmsson - Guitar, Bass



Music recorded at Loud Drums Studios in Sweden
Vocals recorded in Germany at Herbie Langhans personal studio
Mixed at Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden by Jakob Herrmann
Mstered at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark by Jacob Hansen.
Coverart by Efraim Larsson

Released 2021-08-20
Reviewed 2021-09-25


läs på svenska

“'Cause you know that you've heard it before - And you feel that this moment in time is surreal - 'Cause you know when you feel deja-vu” when listening to Steel Rhino and trying to write this review I come to think of that text line by Iron Maiden. One of the bands along with bands Saxon, Judas Priest, Firewind, Gotthard, Crystal Ball, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Avantasia, Edguy, Helloween, Wizard, Manowar, Metalium, Warlock, Bai Bang, Gamma Ray, At Vance, and plenty of other bands that I don’t feel like writing down now. In fact, I think they have stolen, or borrowed, everything we hear on this album. Steel Rhino, the name says what to expect and even that one feels familiar or derivative, the cover illustrates it even more – derivative heavy metal with null originality or relevance.

Stylewise, think of the names I have mentioned, and you might know what to expect; Whitesnake, Inner Axis, Lehnen, Rebellion to mention a few more that I had lying on the desk here that sounds about the same, four out of six albums that I had here. Lets just say that it is quite generic heavy metal, catchy and familiar. Déjà vu is a rather fitting description for the sensation given by this one. Decent production, nothing special but more than good enough – the vocals by Herbie Langhans are quite impressive and the strongest feat of this album. The first track has passages that are stolen from Avantasia, I just can’t recall what song right now. That is what I do when listening to this album, trying to place where I know these songs, or parts of songs come from as nothing here feels fresh or unheard. Alright, the lyrics are probably different from the songs they have stolen from.

Without originality you will never really make an impression, sure it is listenable. I even like the songs as they are catchy and strong. Still, despite the goodness of the songs it is difficult to get over the derivative feel of this album – it feels like they have crafted songs without really making an effort. And in the end it becomes bland a bit irrelevant, there are just so much better stuff to be found in this genre, bands that actually did bring something to the table rather than emulate others. It is the original artists that make impressions, who recalls Hammerfall over Helloween, or even Helloween over Iron Maiden. That is the thing, you need to reinvent to make a mark, not everyone will do that but when you don’t even try it is really sad. But then again, I have long since given up the illusion of musicians as creative individuals, most of them are just skilled with instruments and completely without own ideas, like Steel Rhino.

It is easy to like this album, and to enjoy it for a bit. Then you will forget about it altogether so I recommend streaming services or buying a download as a physical version would only gather dust and no one will want to purchase a second hand CD or vinyl of it as it will have no collector’s value. Steel Rhino is another one of those entertaining but ultimately very forgettable albums that fill up my mailbox.