The one thing I always hated, were these heavy sounding bands that came out of the 1960’s and then “BLAM”, they changed their sound into “Easy Listening” during the mid 1970’s. I hate to say it, but, Iron Butterfly was one of those bands. After riding the tide of success from 1968-1971, the band was on the verge of break up. Drummer Ron Bushy was the only original member of the band left. Guitarist Erik Brann who was with the band in 1968 with the release of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” to 1969 with the release of “Ball” returned in 1975 with “Scorching Beauty” since original vocalist and organist Doug Ingle left in 1971. He returned once more as their vocalist and guitarist to record “Sun and Steel.”
Musically, this album is furthest thing from an Iron Butterfly record. It’s texture is a bit bland. Most of the songs seem to have this notion that they are being dragged out when they shouldn’t be. The heaviness is almost gone and replaced with easy listening, although, this record is considered to be Prog Rock. Let’s face it, Iron Butterfly is officially burned out. That is why this is the last studio record. Not to mention, the lack of original band members didn’t help matters.
But with that being said, Erik Brann can rock the hell out of his guitar. He still does with this record in parts. His leads are great and he proved that he can still provide some great riffs. “Scion” and “I’m Right, I’m Wrong” is a great example where Eric provides that classic sound of the 1960’s. The guitar tracks seem to have a certain evilness to it. But then, the rest of the band comes in and completely destroys that sound. Erik proves that he can be a vocalist, but, his style is a bot out of place with this style of music.
“Sun and Steel” – 4:01
“Lightnin'” – 3:02
“Beyond the Milky Way” – 3:38
“Free” – 2:41
“Scion” – 5:02
“Get It Out” – 2:53
“I’m Right, I’m Wrong” – 5:27
“Watch the World Going By” – 2:59
“Scorching Beauty” – 6:42