The Riddle Of Steel is another power packed solo album by US rock/metal/blues guitarist, Leslie Ripp.
Keeping up with his tradition of original instrumental compositions, Leslie not only showcases his unique guitar playing style and sound, but also tries to provide the listener with a musical escape from the mundane burdens of everyday living to a place of fantasy and adventure. The album was inspired by the 1982 film classic ‘Conan The Barbarian’, based on the fictional character created by the late Robert E. Howard and written/directed by John Milius and Oliver Stone.
If you are indeed looking for that musical escape to fantasy and adventure, this album will surely be your ticket.
Track by track by Leslie Ripp:
Starting off the album, Flesh And Burn is a fast pace, metal ballad featuring dual harmony guitar riffs and Leslie’s signature style guitar leads. In the film, flesh is said to be stronger than steel, so goes the riddle.
Second in line, The Sword And The Crown, is a mid tempo melodic metal ballad that takes us back to a time where one could become a King by one’s own hand.
The third spot goes to Eye Of The Serpent, a mid tempo, metal ballad with flowing guitar leads crossing the boundaries of classic and neo classical metal styles. In the film, the eye represents a prized jewel almost impossible to steal, but worth risking a life for those who dare.
Battle Heart, number four on the list, is a mid tempo power metal ballad resurrected from a pool of old eighties material that never got used. Totally reeking of that typical eighties metal style and sound, it now adds a nice touch to the overall flow of the album.
Thulsa Doom, the power hungry cult leader in the film, and also the title of the fifth track on the album, is a mid tempo rock ballad featuring a heavy swing style beat.
The Riddle Of Steel, the title track at number six, is a mid tempo melodic metal ballad. Actually, the first song composed and recorded, setting the theme for the rest of the album, and also, the underlying theme of the film.
Number seven, The Tree Of Woe, as one might guess, is a slow haunting metal ballad, depicted in the film as the tree to which Conan is crucified to contemplate the meaning of the riddle.
Kingdom Crom, number eight on the list, is a mid tempo rock ballad with an uplifting melody that will make you want to take off and go soaring through the clouds, and possibly drop in on the Cimmerian god Crom while you’re at it.
Number nine, Thief In The Night, another mid tempo rock ballad with a stomping rhythm and dancing guitar and piano leads.
Winding down with another slow metal ballad, Valeria, Conan’s only equal in battle, and tragically lost lover, closes out the album with crying guitars, that feel like all is lost, but yet are powerful in the sense that hope and glory may lie just over the horizon.
01. Flesh And Burn | 02. The Sword And The Crown | 03. Eye Of The Serpent | 04. Battle Heart | 05. Thulsa Doom | 06. The Riddle Of Steel | 07. The Tree Of Woe | 08. Kingdom Crom | 09. Thief In The Night | 10. Valeria
The Riddle Of Steel | Released June 28th, 2022 on Sliptrick Records
Leslie Ripp is:
Leslie Ripp – Guitar/Drums/Percussion/Bass/Keyboard/Piano