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APRIL, 2015

Springtime is back and so is Steel Mill with a heavy round of new updates! The 30th anniversary release of “Defenders Of The Faith” is now out, and to celebrate K.K. has a new blog with plenty of memories from the era and playing the infamous Madison Square Garden “seat cushion” show.

The 13th part of The Fuel Of The Furnace focuses on “Demolition” album with comments from K.K. included!

Lining up guests this month; as the NWOBHM legends Tank are preparing to return with a new album “Valley Of Tears” this summer so it was only appropriate for Steel Mill to sit down with guitarist Cliff Evans for a low-down.

Our Tribute feature now focuses on Chrome Steel from Italy. Looking forward to a great summer of metal, keep feeding the flames!

- K.K. Downing & Millworkers -






Interview with Tank Chrome Steel - Judas Priest Tribute Fuel of the Furnace: Feed On me K.K. Downing's latest blog


APRIL, 2015

Metal Defenders!

Hello to all!
In 1984 Priest “Defenders Of The Faith”- tour sold out Madison Square Garden! Now that was what you call a memorable gig, exuberant fans decided to fill the stage with foam cushions from their seats.
It was crazy but full-on metal, in the picture above you can see a cushion still airborne heading for the stage which in the end of the night was completely two to three cushions deep making it impossible for us to walk on as it became like one big trampoline. However, it was great fun. I remember how we laughed so much it was difficult to continue to play, but of course we did!
The result of this amazingly unusual gig was a ban for life from the venue but we did not care, as it was truly a night to remember.

If anyone remembers this gig or has some photos please can you share them with us at the Mill?
I think that you may all agree that the “Defenders” stage set was possibly the most metal of all Priest sets and also the most synonymous with both Priest and with metal!

It was a tough task to follow the success of “Screaming For Vengeance” but I think it is testimony to Priest that there was no conscious effort to write single orientated songs for “Defenders.” In fact we never did that. If a song became popular for radio it was just what happened. As the title and song says “we are defenders of the (metal) faith” and very proud of it.

The opening two tracks on this album for me are seriously the way to open a metal album; “Freewheel Burning” and “Jawbreaker” are a combination that for me is hard to get tired of. It was also great to play most of this album on the tour which I guess also pays tribute to the album as it is always difficult to present new material live. It is usual to allow a record to be well digested and to see what tracks become favourites before risking putting too many songs in the set list. For example in 1990 I think we put five songs in the set list from “Painkiller” but after a week or so on tour we dropped tree songs. Such was the demand for our established songs. Now I guess Priest would be well received if the whole “Painkiller” album was played. Now there’s a thought?

I must say a big thank you to Tom Allom and Mark Dodson for their part in “Defenders” as they too are real Defenders of the faith.



Ask K.K.

K.K.´s Q and A will be on a stanby mode for the time being.


Pssst. Check out latest:

KK Downing Steel Mill Tourbooks





Q5 - Steel The Light
Q5 made a huge impact on this 1985 album,a very fine production piece indeed.Heads up for new Q5!
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Demon - Night Of The Demon 
One of those (undeservingly) lesser known bands that more than deserve a revisit or discovery, depending on the listener's metal knowledge. This debut album, released in 1981 is a good place to start getting possessed. Pure NWOBHM enjoyment, with the haunting title track leading the charge and an array of other solid stompers following close behind. Treat yourself with a juicy slice of heavy metal history!

Black Star Riders - The Killer Instinct
2nd album by Black Star Riders features all the great Thin Lizzy elements; great stories and Scott Gorham's trademark guitar harmonies. Among these, there's still enough originality in songwriting that validates the use of name BSR instead of being just a Thin Lizzy coverband. Classic rock at its best!

Europe - War Of Kings
The days of “The Final Countdown” may be long gone, but the Swedish hard rock masters soldier on. “War Of Kings” combines their melodic sensibility with rootsy 1970’s influenced rock. Within this album, one can their influences ranging from UFO to Free and Thin Lizzy. Joey Tempest’s voice remains rich and powerful while John Norum and Mic Michaeli continue to deliver underrated textures on guitar and keyboards.

Jorn Lande & Trond Holter present Dracula-Swing of Death
Really solid and amazing album with so many great songs. One of the best ones so far in this year!
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