The more things change in rock, the more they stay the same. The grunge and alternative rock bands that took over in 1992-1994 might have pushed '80s hair bands off of MTV and made them seem antiquated and passé, but ironically, the hair bands and alternative bands had a lot mutual influences, it's just a question of what you chose to do with those influences. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin influenced a lot of '80s bands, but they also influenced their share of alternative bands that emerged in the '90s. Listening to this 2000 release by Herbert -- an alternative metal band that was formed in the early '90s -- one can make comparisons to Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Monster Magnet, Pearl Jam, and Tool. All of those comparisons are valid (depending on the song), but if you really know your rock history, you'll be able to cite late-'60s and early-'70s influences as well, influences, direct or indirect, that include Sabbath, Purple, Zep, Cream, and Iron Butterfly. Again, it's a question of how you use your influences: while an '80s hair metal band might have used '60s and '70s influences to create high-gloss party music, Herbert uses them to create metal that tends to be angular, dark, and moody. Steppin' Off to Eden isn't among the essential releases to come from the alternative metal field, but it's a decent, if less than mind-blowing, example of a band using its various influences wisely.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson