The Flames of Hell "Fire and steel" album is a legend to metal collectors as the Opus 45 is to punk collectors: few have heard it, fewer still have held it, and, besides having a primitive sound and odd recording, one listen to the record shows that something was not right in heads of the band members, leading some to wonder if the legend surpasses the actual record. The first minute or so of this ?Fire and Steel? is relatively pedestrian Bathory- and Hellhammer-inspired early ?80s metal. And then the vocals hit. Sounding a bit like he just dipped his balls in one of Iceland?s geothermal hot springs, guitarist/vocalist Stein??r Nicolaison is either the worst or the best thing about this record. High-pitched vocals abound in black metal but the way the castrato Stein??r manages to generate a palpably demonic creepiness with his shreiks, peals, and vocal stabs (sounding somewhere between the noise one makes when stabbing and when getting stabbed) is quite unique. Musically, this record is at least three years late for the trend, as mainland Europe?s metallists had dropped the stripped-down mid-tempo swagger of HELLHAMMER in favor of high-speed thrash by 1987. That makes Flames of Hell even more interesting. Additionally, their crude, amateurish recording and clunky playing was atypical for European metal by 1987. A must to all fans of early raw Black/Thrash Metal with a true 80s raw sound!!