||The Age Of Steel
The Dawn of Sentinel Steel Records
Forged in iron, Sentinel Steel offers up one of the most uncompromising rosters of true metal. Not only is the music top notch, but the art work is stunning. A student of such famed fantasy illustrators as Frank Frazetta, Ken Kelly and the Hildebrant brothers, Sentinel Steel president Denis Gulbey knows what it takes to catch the eye (and ear) of your die-hard metal fan. Most of the covers have been used before, explains Gulbey. We are basically re-purposing the art which is great for the artist. Im in a position where I know some of the artists fairly well. I know the Hildebrants through art school. Ken Kelly responded to a letter I wrote and we discussed a price I could afford and the deal was done.
In 1991, Gulbey moved to New Jersey to attend art school. I contributed to a fanzine called Manic Reaction, he says. I eventually decided to write my own fanzine with an emphasis on European Metal. I titled it Sentinel Steel. Inside I ran an add selling some of my old albums, before I knew it, I was sold out. So I started going around to all the local record stores and buying their metal records to sell through my fanzine. This was in the early nineties and metal was out so I was getting these records super cheap.
By 1996 all Gulbey time was being consumed by his metal catalog. Something had to go and it would be the fanzine. Sentinel Steel, as a magazine only saw three landmark issues. But is sparked a connection with underground bands. Gulbey acquired a cassette by Brooklyn-based band Gothic Knights. It had the traditional melodic power-metal sound and got Gulbey involved in recording and producing.
Gothic Knights joined by Nocturnal Rites and Hammerfall were the first of their kind to unleash the resurgence of power-metal. The age of steel was back for another bout with metal history. Kingdom Of The Knights is Gothic Nights second release in three years. After a stellar performance at the Power Mad festival in Baltimore the Knights top off this ripping eight-track platter which not only includes a cover of the Judas Priest classic The Ripper but also a reworking Song Of Roland, a personal favorite. As a whole it is a cherished display of the bands crunching heaviness, guitar heroics, limitless vocal range with tight songwriting and fantasy filled lyrical imagery.
Gulbey has personally overseen each of his companies releases. He hand selects the bands and helps with song selection, quality control, layout and design and marketing. The success of his business is proof of his genius. Recently Gulbey saw Onward, a band he had worked with for several years get snapped up by Century Media, a heavy in Metal labels. I had mixed reactions, says Gulbey on letting Onward go. I had worked with them through Defiled Records (founded by Nieraj Singh whos other releases include Devastation and Numbskulls) which were known for their quality in Thrash and Death Metal. We had spent a lot of money on advertising and artwork for Onward but in the end Century Media took over. It is good to see a band go on to make it in the majors.
Other releases on SS include both Attacker CDs (Battle At Helms Deep and The Second Coming). Axe Hammer - Lord Of The Realm, Manilla Road - Mystification, Burning Starr - No Turning Back and Legend Maker - The Path To Glory. Though adorned with new cover art, in most cases the original covers are included in the liner notes.
Contact Sentinel Steel at: P.O. Box 123, Rockaway, NJ 07866
Ph/Fax (973) 398-3436
or online at www.sentinelsteel.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org