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Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
(AFM Records - 2013)
Iron Mask is back with Fifth Son Of Winterdoom. The opening passage of Back Into Mystery is quite symphonic, but then the song becomes a melodic power metal tune. And like on their last album Black Death Mark Boals takes care of the lead vocals. The lead guitar solo part is a bit too much, here it would have been smart not to add a Malmsteen-ish solo and keep the song more interesting. At the opening passage of Like A Lion In A Cage it's again Dushan Petrossi who shows off his talent and what might be a highlight for Malmsteen fans, lovers of neo-classical guitar frenzy and guitarists is boring others - like me. When the song finally gets going it's the repetitive chorus which is annoying... Quite heavy begins Only One Commandment and here the guitar play at the opening passage is more song supporting. When Mark Boals joins in the song becomes an 80's hard rock edge. After Seven Samurai they present the title track which is just over 10 minutes. First you hear footsteps in the snow, a child crying, then folk-ish music sets in. Actually it's a bit lengthy... This time no guitar frenzy, but I miss some twists and turns to make Fifth Son Of Winterdoom more interesting. Laughter kicks off Angel Eyes, Demon Soul, but the guitar-based tune is not getting me, somethings missing for me... It's a melodic metal tune and it should be up my alley... Rock Religion you can check out yourself as there is a video for this one. I would describe the track as a melodic heavy metal tune with an 80's edge... A bit Dio-esque.
A power ballad with a melancholy touch is Father Farewell, a song Petrossi wrote for his deceased father. Next in line 2 melodic power metal tunes which are easier to get in, at least for me, probably because it lacks the neo-classical guitar play... The most catchy tune is Run To Me and with The Picture Of Dorian Grey they close this chapter. In my opinion the second half is stronger and I hope next time they concentrate on that facet of their sound.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this album, so I can only recommend to check out several songs and make up your mind about it.
Shadow Of The Red Baron
(Lion Music - 2010)
The sound of an airplane leads you into Iron Mask's 3rd album which is called Shadow Of The Red Baron. The title track is also the opener and 7+ minute long opus, a fast power metal tune with Götz 'Valhalla' Mohre's powerful vocals. Drummer Erik Stout is forcing them ahead with heavy beats and together with bassist Vassili Moltchanow delivers the basis for Dushan Petrossi's guitar play. Such a long track needs twists and turns, and so they add instrumental passages which are based in neo-classical metal, but also you get a catchy refrain. Great tune to kick off with. At Dreams has an Iron Maiden-esque galloping motif, but Oliver Hartmann's vocals - and the backings - make this one sound different. Again they wove in some neo-classical parts. Partly this one reminds me of Royal Hunt (Fear era)... Keyboarder Andreas Lindahl leads you into Forever In The Dark which then surprises you with Gregorian chants! A heavy melodic metal tune which will soon hook you up! For Resurrection they slow down a bit and add some Arabic sound elements to pepper up this one. At the neo-classical piece Sahara Dushan Petrossi is joined by Lars Eric Mattsson. This catchy tune is based on heavy riffs, but offers also a great lead part - and then keyboarder Andreas Lindahl joins in. Great vocal performance, too. With We Will Meet Again is a quite catchy melodic power metal song. Something to sing along. The fast Universe is bringing back the neo-classical elements. My Angel Is Gone is a balladesque tune with Götz' expressive vocals. After Only The Good Die Young they close this chapter with the instrumental Ghost Of The Tzar. A symphonic opening with spoken words lead you into this heavy, epic track. Even if they use again the spoken words, the guitar replaces the vocal line. Personally I would have chosen a catchy vocal track to end the album, but well...
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