Iron Fire - Revenge
In the year of 2000, danish band Iron Fire released a brilliant debut album which I still hold for one of the better ones during this millennium so far. The album was Thunderstorm and since then they have gone through an almost ridiculous amount of member changes that count up to approximatly 17. In the year of 2002 they also released the very flat and anonymous album On The Edge. Now, however, they are back with only singer Martin Steene as original member, and the basic concept is the same now as on the debut. This album shows a band that has decided to stay on their beaten path, and they deliver traditional heavy/power metal according to the standard template, only with what I think is a bit fresher and somewhat updated sound.
Even though they move pretty strict and exclusivly within the standard realms of heavy/power metal, they somehow manage to vary themselves and put a personal touch to it. Just that extra "something" I also felt the debut had when it was released and still has. Especially the vocals I like a lot but also the galloping riffs have something special to them. There is also a good mix between happy and melodic elements and more darker and harder ones. It is hard for me to mention similar bands, since I feel there are a few in the back of my head but they will not really come out. If I under gunpoint have to choose something, I would go for Nocturnal Rites as closest comparison.
The songwriting signifies good potentials and reminds of the strong debut, and they work very good with verses and bridges and guitarists Olsen and Backarach pass the test with honors, delivering some great riffs and leads. A big minus is unfortunatly that the refrains don't reach up to quite the same level as the mentioned verses and the riffs. The refrains are in fact the weakest point on this album and almost each song dies a tiny bit when the refrain sets in since the power and the flow is interrupted. The most important thing that saves and is carrying this album is strong melodies. Without them this could have been highly mediocre and quickly forgotten.
It is a delight to hear the short folk inspired leads here and there (Iron Head, Whirling Of Doom) and the whole song Savage Prophecy is built on very beautiful tunes, and that is a slow song which I normally don't fancy, but this one I just simply love. As a matter of fact, Iron Fire pull of something very rare and that is to have two slow songs on one album that I both like. Ice Cold Arion is the other one.
Despite the initial positive words, there are in addition to the refrain issue also a few other low marks in shape of songs that do not lift and end up a few fragments below average (Stand As King, Mindmachine) and everything summed up, it's a bit too much to make this a really good album. If they until next time are able to keep the good melodies, keep their own special sound and also add more punch and pondus to the refrains, they will most definitly earn the by now world wide desired 'Metal Covenant Recommends' stamp.