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Steel Mill

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Steel Mill Green Eyed God album cover
3.96 | 102 ratings | 15 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blood Runs Deep (5:19)
2. Summers Child (4:24)
3. Majo and the Laying of the Witch (7:52)
4. Treadmil (4:00)
5. Green Eyed God (9:51)
6. Turn the Page Over (3:56)
7. Black Jewel of the Forest (6:13)
8. Har Fleur (0:45)

Total Time: 42:20

Bonus tracks on 1994 & 2011 CD releases:
9. Get On The Line (Single - long version) (4:12)
10. Zang Will (B-side) (3:43)

Extra bonus tracks on 2011 CD release:
11. Green Eyed God (1971 single A-Side mono) (3:49)
12. Confusion (1970 demo) (3:58)
13. Monday Arrives (1970 demo) (3:18)
14. Super Clean Man (1970 demo) (3:36)
15. Keep Working (1970 demo) (4:00)
16. Growing Bald (1970 demo) (3:56)
17. A Forgotten Future/A Future Past (5:02)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Morris / vocals, keyboards
- Terry Williams / guitar
- John Challenger / sax, woodwind, guitar (17)
- Jeff Watts / bass
- Chris Martin / drums, percussion

- Graham Parker / lead guitar (17)
- Derek Chandler / bass (17)

Releases information

Artwork: Helmut Wenske

LP Bellaphon ‎- BLPS 19105 (1972, Germany)
LP Penny Farthing ‎- PELS 549 (1975, UK) New cover

CD Green Tree Records ‎- GTR-023 (1994, Germany) With 2 bonus tracks
CD Rise Above Records - RARCD008 (2011, UK) Remastered; Retitled "Jewels of the Forest" with 9 bonus tracks including 6 unreleased demos from 1970 and a new 2010 song (track #17)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy STEEL MILL Green Eyed God Music

STEEL MILL Green Eyed God ratings distribution

(102 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

STEEL MILL Green Eyed God reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars One of the most obscure release from England (the history of the band and whereabouts of the musicians are still unknown) and most-searched after vinyl by collectors, and one of the best beloved in ProgArchives for a famous unsolicited job application (see last paragraph of the present review). If in a lot of case, rare and expensive does not necessarily mean good or excellent, but in Steel Mill, such is the case. Released in 72 in Germany, this album got its UK release three years later, by which time the group had disbanded. This quintet is your standard quartet plus wind player and develop a heavy progressive so typical of the first years of the 70's and is a pure delight for the progheads searching for lost gems: I AM one of them. Sound-wise Steel Mill is a mix of Raw Material, some hard-riffing from Heep or Sabbath. All of the tracks are penned by wind player John Challenger and keysman and singer Dave Morris.

The heavy-riffed opener Blood Runs Deep is a rather fitting intro, as soon as the first break leads us to a sax/guitar crescendo and quick time changes. Summer Child is one of the highlights of this very even album, where no weaker track exists. Its deep and dark climate underlined by a low-timbre flute works wonder on your imagination. Hard riffs open the longer track of the first side of the wax slide, but its multipkle changes allows plenty of ambiances, some of them not far away from Black Sabbath and Atomic Rooster. The closer, Treadmill, is probably their hardest/heaviest track and the Sabbath influences are loud and clear in this song.

The second side opens on the superb 9-min title track with a haunting (and eastern-sounding) flute over a steady tom-drumming and psalm-like vocals, before the heavy guitar takes the song to a higher and harder climate. Clearly this song is the one that gives the album its weight in prog content, with its slight ethnic influences. Production-wise the album uses the fade-outs and the fade-ins a bit too systematically, but the only time this is slightly bothersome is in the middle of this great track. Turn The Page Over is yet another superb moments and it clearly invites in their next tale of paradise. Black Jewel Of The Forest is the apex of the album, with its slow flute and toms intro (already heard earlier in the album) before a tense guitar enters to modify the drumming and the ambiances switching gradually into a haunting, almost satanic mood: grandiose. The closing interlude is a fitting outro for an almost flawless album.

Steel Mill had also released two singles the following yea r, each time featuring a song from the album and a non-album B-side. Although the album tracks were edited to fit the singles format Repertoire record chose not too include these two songs as bonuses (which is just as well, since they are available in the better longer format), but they did choose to include the two non-album tracks, much to our joy. Obscurity. Obviously not recorded during the same sessions and mixed differently, the two tracks differ a bit from the rest of the album, without sticking out like a sore thumb. Get On The Line was a clear attempt at breaking the market with its basic repeated chorus and songs structures. The same can be said of Zang Will, but the second offers more to the proghead's ears because of more interplay and clear cut solos.

Be careful when looking for this album, as there are some bootlegs both in vinyl and in CD. In its digital form, this album comes with two bonus tracks coming from associated singles - which I have no idea if they are in the same line than the album per se. In any way, shape or form, this album is a real must if you love heavy prog. This album even prompted some Pakistani engineer to apply for a job in this website, and that fact alone makes it a classic album in our beloved Prog Archives;-)

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Of unknown origin

Steel Mill are one of the most mysterious groups to have existed (or not!). The sleeve-notes of the CD re-release of their one and only album detail how the author tried in vain to track down some historical information about the band. All roads were however dead-ends, to the extent that even the British Musicians Union has no record of the any of the band members.

The band released two singles in 1971, followed by one album. "Green eyed god" in 1975. Quite why there was such a gap in between is not clear. Their debut single, also called "Green eyed god", now changes hands for princely sums. The version of that track included here is considerably longer than the single, but it would have been good to have the single edit as a bonus track. In this case, less really is more. The track "Green eyed god" is a superb mix of styles, starting with a gentle flute solo similar to some of Focus' early work. A brief vocal section is introduced over the flute, before all hell breaks loose as the track becomes a rocking guitar piece. The album version simply toys around with these themes more, the single version being more concise and hard hitting. (The producer of the album does recall that the flute parts for this track were recorded in the toilet to get the right effect!)

The other single released by Steel Mill is included here as a bonus track, having been inexplicably left off the original album. "Get on the line" is a more orthodox pop rock track, with a highly infectious chorus. Alan Freeman (enlightened UK DJ) rightly described the track at the time as having a "mighty sound",

The remainder of the album is in truth generally fairly average guitar and flute driven rock (but not particularly Jethro Tull like). "Summer's child" is a fine if na´ve soft ballad, with some nice flute. "Mijo and the laying of the witch" has shades of Audience to it when John Challenger, the "wind instrumentalist" of the group, adds sax. Iron Butterfly's "In-a-gadda-da-vida" is another good reference point.

The album sounds somewhat dated and derivative now, but at the time, it was actually pretty original. If you get the opportunity, it is worth a listen, but I would not recommend paying the inflated prices of the collectors market (where the album is most likely to be found) just to hear the music.

Review by hdfisch
4 stars Edited 09/26/05!

I don't remember exactly when I listened to this record the very first time, must be something like 25 years ago. But I remember well that I loved it very much right from the beginning. Now after all these years I rediscovered this real gem in progressive blues rock created by five brilliant musicians about whom there's actually nothing known apart of their names. The first song already is such a great amazing bluesrocker, swampy, bluesy and intricate at the same time. All the songs on this album are just awesome, much in the vein of CREAM or early BLACK SABBATH combined with great sax and flute play. On the CD release there are two bonus tracks which are very much worthwhile as well. I can just HIGHLY RECOMMEND this record to anyone who loves early progressive blues rock. An absolute unique album and excellent addition to any prog collection! (4,5 stars in real!)

Review by Carl floyd fan
4 stars The mystery that surrounds the band adds to the appeal of this album, I must admit. But even without the mystique, the music still manages to stand alone, and quite well I might add. I've never liked having art (rock) as a sub genre of music, as I've stated before. music is a sub caterogry of art! So I view this as more of a hardrock/fusion album. The fusion influences are not to heavy, there are some focus/tullesque flute and subtle sax here and there. If you can find this album and want to pay lotf of money and/or an arm or leg, by all means, its a good album. But it is insanely rare so I would suggest you d/l it. 4.25 stars.
Review by Warthur
4 stars Reminiscent of a collaboration between Vanilla Fudge, early Deep Purple, and Rare Bird, Steel Mill's sole album is a bluesy take on the heaviest of heavy psych and proto-prog. John Challenger's woodwind instruments add a wild card to the proceedings which sets the band apart from their influences, whilst guitarist Terry Williams lays down monster riffs which establish an oppressive and foreboding atmosphere for the proceedings. Recently rereleased with an impressive range of bonus tracks (under the confusing retitle of Jewels of the Forest), Green Eyed God represents the apocalyptic culmination of the bluesier side of heavy psych and proto-prog and doesn't deserve the obscurity it's languished in.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cult British Prog/Psych outfit, formed in late-60's in the South London neighborhood of Wadsworth by keyboardist/singer Dave Morris and sax player John Challenger (formerly of The Garret Singers) with three more members coming from an act named Roadrunners, bassist Derek Chandler, guitarist Terry Williams and drummer Colin Short.After a few promising demos Short was replaced by Rumplestiltskin's Rupert Bear for a brief time, before Chris Martin was acquired permanently.A single followed in 1971 on the Penny Farthing label, which had an unexpected success, and Steel Mill entered the De Lane Lea Studios in London in December 71' to record their debut with a slightly different line-up, bassist Jeff Watts had replaced Derek Chandler.The team on Penny Farthing apparently was not very excited with the album, as a result Steel Mill's ''Green eyed God'' was oroginally released only in Germany in 1972.

Steel Mill sounded like a less progressive and risky GNIDROLOG and VAN DER GRAFF GENERATOR, having strong psychedelic and Jazz/Blues influences, but eventually offering an amalgam of sounds quite different from the typical bands of the time.With dark vocals and instrumental sections, they recalled also compatriots MARSUPILAMI, comfortably evolving from Heavy/Psychedelic Rock passages to jazzy twists with the sax in evidence and even delivering some great breaks and complex themes, especially in the longer tracks.Even if some of the ideas seem a bit forced or disjointed, the album is characterized by numerous great guitar moves and solid drumming, flavored by Challenger's diverse plays on sax and flutes, having evident Folk, Jazz and Blues vibes.The mood is angry, sinister and atmospheric akin to a more guitar-based VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR with an intelligent mix of 60's and proggy tunes, but even if Morris was among the band's leaders, his performance on keyboards is just very sterile and almost ''invisible''.Another aspect Steel Mill appear to have borrowed from Jazz are the obvious, loose executions in series of pieces, on the other hand the shorter ones come in a more standard Heavy/Blues Rock vein with Terry Williams being the absolute hero with his electrified guitar work.

A second single was issued the same year, but its dissapointing sales led Penny Farthing to abandon any plans on Steel Mill.Williams and Watts left the band and they were replaced by Alan Plaice and Danny Easterbrook respectively.However, despite some decent supporting performances next to Rory Gallagher's Taste, T. Rex, and David Bowie, Steel Mill finally disbanded in August 72'.From the band's members, Watts had the most respectable career playing for Psych/Jazz Rockers The Running Man, Hard Rock band Mouse and the Pop Rock combo Design.

Several reissues appear in the market, most of them with bonus material, and surprisingly Penny Farthing decided to reissue the original press in 1975 for the UK market.Among the good acts of the time, Steel Mill played cool Psych/Prog with a jazzy attitude and extended instrumental ideas.Recommended.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars While prog bands that released a single album and disappeared into the ethers never to be heard from again were quite common all throughout prog's heyday of the 70s and even far beyond into the 80s, usually there exists a bit of historical context of how the bands formed, how they crafted their albums and where the various members would end up after projects imploded. STEEL MEEL on the other hand remains to this very day one of the more mysterious bands that somehow eluded the record keepers. In the pursuit of a historical analysis, many trying to paint a clearer picture have been utterly stumped. Even producer John Schroeder remembers nothing about neither the band nor the sessions that he was a part of. None of the musicians belonged to the English musicians union and even those who knew of the band during their time seemed to know nothing about their story, therefore it is a complete mystery as to how the five members came to the process of forming STEEL MILL and the recording of their sole album GREEN EYED GOD.

What is known is that the band consisted of David Morris (vocals, keyboards), Terry Williams (guitar), John Challenger (sax, woodwind), Jeff Watts (bass) and Christ Martin (drums, percussion). Much of this lack of information stems from the fact that despite hailing from the music mecca of 1970s London and having released two singles, a truncated form of the title track and "Summer's Child," GREEN EYED GOD found little support from the record company which would only issue an original release in Germany in 1972 and the album wouldn't find a proper debut in their native UK or North America until 1975, long after the band had called it quits and when i say called it quits, i don't mean that the band members called it a day and moved on to other projects. They literally fled the music business totally. All of these issues conspired to create one of rock's most enigmatic mystery bands of the era. Only Jeff Watts is known to have ventured into another project, the equally forgotten band Design.

It's somewhat understandable as to why STEEL MILL found such resistance. GREEN EYED GOD has a rather anachronistic sound for the year 1972. While the band was fairly original in how they composed their eight tracks on GREEN EYED GOD, the music itself relied on the template of late 60s heavy psych with fuzzed out guitar riffs in the vein of Iron Butterfly or Vanilla Fudge and peppered it with fluffy flute laden psychedelic folk with Celtic flavors along with touches of jazz and psychedelia. Likewise, another 60s trait is that the band lacked a charismatic vocalist that carried the music to another level however Dave Morris does a decent job in carrying his weight actually. It is known that STEEL MILL formed in 1970 and the music presented here surely must have been crafted in that same timeline as it sounds very much like its on the change of the decade years in terms of style.

Despite the rather dated sound for its release time, GREEN EYED GOD is a really good album that stitches together the various elements that make it original. Consider it an early retro album and all is good. It's the sort of album that SHOULD have been crafted in the late 60s but never was and STEEL MILL were there to add their stamp to the sounds of that era even if it meant entering the world's stage a little late to the party. The heavy psych guitar riffs erupt immediately on the opener "Blood Runs Deep" which finds rather groovy guitar and bass interactions embellished by a jazzy saxophone dominated backdrop and intermittent cooling off periods of psychedelic folk. The single "Summer's Child" starts out like a Led Zeppelin ballad except with an airy woodwind section but transmogrifies into a bass driven mid-tempo rocker that incorporates bluesy guitar soloing and vocal harmonies.

GREEN EYED GOD's greatest strength is it's diversity. Every track takes on a different characteristic. "Mijo And The Laying Of The Witch" continues sounding completely different than the previous two tracks with an intriguing mysterious atmosphere with a jazzy backdrop. The track slowly changes into a heavier rocker with hard rock guitar heft but also a healthy presence of the sultry sax soloing. The track at nearly eight minutes long is also one of the more progressive as it tackles varying stylistic shifts which alter tempo, timbres and dynamics as well as some abrupt time signature changes. The folky parts exude pastoral flute runs.

"Treadmill" starts strangely with a Hare Krishna type of a cappella group vocal chant and some bells before erupting into a more standard hard rock tune laced with guitar fuzz and bass and drum heft to back it up. The call and response of the vocals and bluesy guitar solos keep the track fiery and sounding great. The highlight of the album is surely the nine minute title track. While released as a truncated single, this full version is gorgeous and also quite progressive as it begins in a mediative ancient Celtic flute trance and cymbal action that slowly ratchets up to a heavy bluesy rocker sounding something like Bad Company only more adventurous with stylistic chord changes, ballsy soloing and excellent bass and percussive interactions. Jazzy touches also join in and Morris offers a more passionate than usual vocal performance. It's fairly ecstatic how the sax and flute alternate and the percussive drive flips from standard rock to tribal drumming at the drop of a hat. This track demonstrates STEEL MILL's strong sense of instrumental interplay as the musicians find many variations that play well together.

The piano driven "Turn The Page Over" offers yet another stylistic shift with Beatles like vocal harmonies conspiring to create utterly infectious melodic counterpoints. "Black Jewel Of The Forest" is another Pagan ritual sounding track with heavy flute action, tribal drumming and eerie background vocals. Somewhat like Comus but not as frantic. The album ends with the unusual fifty second instrumental "Har Fleur" yet again sounding different than what came before. It's most likely you will not own an original copy as the first vinyl editions are extremely rare and have been known to be some of the most expensive original prog vinyl albums ever to exchange hands in which case if you do indeed own GREEN EYED GOD then you will be treated to the two bonus tracks "Get On The Line" and "Zang Will" which are every bit as good yet different from the original eight tracks but still fit in so well. STEEL MILL may have only crafted a handful of tracks but did an outstanding job in the process.

Despite the album bombing big time the first time around and shrouding the band in mystery for decades, the popularity of GREEN EYED GOD has only grown exponentially since. The album has become quite the mandatory staple of progressive rock collectors who like a hard rock bite with their psychedelic folk with jazzy touches which is mostly due to the strong songwriting that provides intricate and addictive melodies but most of all it's how the band crafted these compositions with a keen sense of adding subtle elements that despite using the templates of the 60s, implement the more sophisticated touches of the progressive rock heyday. The result is an album that sounds like it exists in two timelines. True that Dave Morris doesn't provide the most stellar vocal performances but his limited range keeps the album simmering in a typical hard rock band fashion while the nuances of the instrumental interplay make this an more intriguing progressive listen. This was a grower. It may not blow you away at first but if you let it sink in for a few spins, its unleashes its magic in doses, at least it did for me.

Just a quick note: apparently some of the band's secrets have been revealed on the 2010 "Jewels Of The Forest (Green Eyed God Plus)." Until i acquire that copy, they are still a mystery :)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars STEEL MILL is a name that would have connected with blue collar workers but it seems this band wasn't given much of a chance by their record label who were unimpressed with this album and released it only in Germany. So yes a very obscure album and band who disappeared from the scene completely. This isn't as hard or heavy as I thought it would be and I didn't expect the darkness. We get this with the vocals, sound and lyrics throughout which maybe shouldn't be surprising when you call your album "Green Eyed God".

A five piece of guitar, bass, drums, vocals/keyboards and sax/flute. I have to say that the sax absolutely puts this one over the top for me. It reminds me of Mel Collins of KING CRIMSON fame and is really the cherry on top, and the flute he adds is very welcomed as well. While this is far from a 5 star record it is very much a solid 4 stars and one of the better albums I've heard in this style from the early 70's.

Eight tracks over 42 minutes and that title track at almost 10 minutes is a keeper. It opens and closes with a relaxed sound of percussion and flute bringing Krautrock to mind but in between we get some action including a couple of excellent guitar solos. The opener "Blood Runs Deep" has this catchy repeated guitar melody as drums, vocals and more join in. Love the sax over top when it slows down to a more serious sound. "Majo And The Laying Of The Witch" might be my favourite at almost 8 minutes. Drums impress early as does the guitar and sax then it turns powerful. Vocals arrive then more sax as themes are repeated. Theatrical vocals too then a lone bass line around 6 1/2 minutes in then it kicks in again. So good. Some crazy laughter late. "Treadmill" has that BLACK SABBATH vibe before a minute after some interesting vocal led stuff. So good after 3 minutes when the sax arrives. I feel like the album could have ended stronger after the killer title track but yes this is easily a 4 star recording.

Latest members reviews

5 stars STEEL MILL were forged in the foundry in the industrial heart of London way back in 1969. The five-piece band recorded their one and only album "Green-Eyed God" with a sense of iron will and determination and the album first emerged from the steel works in 1972. Unfortunately, the album failed t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2336885) | Posted by Psychedelic Paul | Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Reading some rather positive reviews of this album left me somewhat puzzled. I am old enough and with a healthy interest in music, yet I could not recall having heard of this band. I left no stone unturned till I was able to hear this piece. Hmmm, maybe not for the first time after all, but pe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1180525) | Posted by Anon-E-Mouse | Thursday, May 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars While trawling through my local independent record store (yes, I'm sensitive enough about what people think of my music buying habits that I'll put that!), I heard some markedly ominous music emanating from the store's stereo. I thought it sounded vaguely Black Widow-esque, and feeling rather pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#567840) | Posted by Ffogorp the Confused | Monday, November 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's an excellent heavy prog obscure band. Sounds only like themselves. A little like Raw material and skin alley Just got the new premastered album - Jewels of the forest 100% official reissue of Green eyed god + 9 bonus tracks - 2 B-sides + shorter version of Green eyes god + 5 unreleased st ... (read more)

Report this review (#456753) | Posted by progshachar | Saturday, June 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I looked for this album for 2 years when finally I bought it and enjoyed it a lot. Take Jethro Tull, Black Widow and Cream, mingle them all and you will obtain Steel Mill. An obsure band, if you think that we don't know anything about them, the flute parts were recorded in the studios toilet! Apa ... (read more)

Report this review (#92706) | Posted by Kord | Saturday, September 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I made the mistake of spending 250 US dollars on this album, and could hardly get that much in trade for it when after about a week this became less interesting and more and more irritating. It is hard to say exactly what doesn't work here. The playing by all five band members is inspired and ... (read more)

Report this review (#45950) | Posted by | Wednesday, September 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hi there, this is a true melodic masterpiece. One of the top 5 best melodic british prog records i have ever hear. Especially the first side is so dynamic in terms of melody. I like very much the cover too. As i said before it is one of the top 5 with cressida, spring, england (garden shed) an ... (read more)

Report this review (#31843) | Posted by | Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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