What is the riddle of steel? Many have contemplated this, but only Crom knows the true answer. The answer -- at least for St. Louis -- is that the Riddle of Steel is a juggernaut rock three-piece formed like a phoenix from the ashes of many other regional acts. Featuring the virtuoso guitar of Andrew Elstner, the throbbing low end of Jimmy Vavak and the octopus-on-amphetamines percussion of Dave Turncrantz, the band has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the indie-rock world. Having recently released its definitive statement thus far, Python, an album so well-produced that Vavak worried they wouldn't be able to pull it off live, Riddle of Steel has toured frequently, becoming one of St. Louis' most prolific ambassadors to the nation. Through their drive and willingness to get out and play in front of as many people as possible, the band has accomplished things most local acts only dream about. Whether flesh or steel is stronger we may never know, but in the case of Riddle of Steel, the rock is strongest of them all.