redgebnT.gif (7711 bytes)


"Silver Step Child" (Nightmare)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)

USM is made up of Tony Ritchie on vocals and bass guitars, Peter Southern on lead and rhythm guitars and Lionel Hicks on drums. Those of you familiar with the best in melodic metal will no doubt recognize all of those names as current and/or former members of the great Balance of Power. (To see what we think of Balance of Power, click here).

As one might expect, fans of Balance of Power will adore United States of Mind. "Silver Step Child" is the stuff that great melodic metal is made of. Sweeping vocals, guitar power chords, blistering lead riffs that don't feel the need to shred unnecessarily, thundering drums, well-written songs. All of it done with crystal clear production that is nothing short of epic and with musicianship and vocal talent that is simply stunning.

While it doesn't really sound much like it, "Silver Step Child" reminds me of Dio's "Magica" CD. Like "Magica," the songs on "Silver Step Child" are all "big." They're songs written not to explode from your speakers but to blast continually through them. They're not always fast, they're not always loud, they're just always ... well, big. Also, like "Magica," the songs on "Silver Step Child" seem to belong together. It'd be hard to imagine this CD with one track out of place.

Speaking of tracks, there's not a weak one on the CD. Stand-outs, however, include "Beneath the Low," the CD's first track that gets things off on the right foot, "The Weird and the Wonderful," one of those big ballads with harmonious vocals and walls of guitar sound, the Blue Oyster Cult-like "It's All Over Now" and the pounding "Terrorphobiac."

Again, fans of Balance of Power simply must have USM's "Silver Step Child" in their collection. Fans of power metal and melodic metal, too. 

USM:  Tony Ritchie - vocals and bass guitars, additional keyboards; Peter Southern - lead and rhythm guitars; Lionel Hicks - drums, additional keyboards. Ivan Norris - additional backing vocals.

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Page

Back to home page

Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Jul 2020 15:54:16 -0400.