Steel Sleet, along with its companion release, Last Eyes, on the Cambridge, MA-based label Records -- featuring the same cover art by Damien Mullane, the only difference being that "Last Eyes" is black on white and "Steel Sleet" white on black -- is another dispatch from the front line of fire music, ably defended by the duo of saxophonist Paul Flaherty and drummer Chris Corsano. Comparisons to John Coltrane and Rashied Ali's Interstellar Space and Ali and Frank Lowe's Duo Exchange might sound far-fetched but are entirely appropriate. Though Flaherty is inevitably branded as a fire breather, there's a kernel of blues-inflected lyricism to his playing (here especially evident in "Master of the Buffet" and the opening of "Whiskey & Soda") that's conspicuously absent in the work of copycat wailers and screamers. Similarly Corsano does far more than merely bash his kit into submission -- playing loud does not mean abandoning subtlety -- and his sudden shifts of texture and dynamics are a wonder to behold.
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AllMusic Review by Dan Warburton