Iron Fire - To the grave 3.5/5

Reviewed: 1-9-09





Tracklist:

1. The beast from the blackness
2. Kill for metal
3. To the grave
4. The battlefield
5. Cover the sun
6. March of the immortals
7. The kingdom
8. Frozen in time
9. Hail to Odin
10. Doom riders
11. Ghost of vengenance
12. The demon master


Less than 2 years after forging the 'Blade of triumph', Martin Steen and his band of iron heads return to the grave intention, ready to deliver another sonic thunderstorm of seething revenge.

I have always supported Iron fire. I even appreciate the maligned 'On the edge', with its more approachable characteristics. 'Blade of triumph' was a masterpiece in my opinion, and impossible to surpass. 'Revenge' was such a worthy return to prominence. 'To the grave' is consistent, enjoyable, and definitely what Iron Fire fans have come to expect. 'To the Grave' bridges the bulge between these 2 rainbows of illuminated, glistening steel. I still prefer to follow the sign of the wild warriors, as promulgated by the the crushing 'Blade of triumph'; but, their latest assault from the underworld will not disappoint or unfetter the reigns.

Chances are, as you are reading this, you are already a fan. Trust me, this is very well-played power metal, in all its essence. The formula remains the same, with just a few modern touches, and slight vocal alterations. The guitar tandem acrobatics and punishing rhythms all ensnare. Martin's caustic call, and parched pronunciations, will still echo in your heart and head, long after the music subsides.

"Beast from the blackness" crawls all over your flesh once the music commences. Then, as your fists start pumping, and your adrenaline gets going, you are ready to "Kill for metal". The title cut will ensnare your senses. The intensity and magick of "The Kingdom" will summon you to go within, find your fantasy, and seek your own bliss.

There is a real fluidity to the message and mayhem, enacted by well-composed arrangements, and quality production values, on this, their 3rd endeavour for Napalm Records. The CD does not feel rushed, and it is never negligent in delivering with a fevered passion. Granted, not every song is stellar, but overall, the CD is pure Iron Fire! Tracks like "Doom riders", "Ghost of vengeance", or "Cover the sun" could use more polish and primer; but, across the board, the faithful portrait is painted, with a grave, stone-cold, compassion; imbued with a whole hue of persistence and persuasion.

The music consists of mostly mid-paced anthems like "The battlefield", with its cordial cadence, or the solid ice breaker - "Frozen in time" with its displaced compunction, and scathing scowl. Essentially, the crux of the mettle is well proportioned and meted out with an embittered pride. This thrust empowers one to embrace all that is to be celebrated as he casts himself into the mystery of Iron Fire.

Once again, the force of evil has been unleashed, with a biting sarcasm, and a beautiful blend of envy, and invigorating sustenance. Iron Fire remain true as steel, never surrendering to the weaker, water-downed sound of so many once great commanding acts.

The march of the immortal sound of Iron Fire prevails, and still blazes with a fervent ascent. The punchy riffs, the catchy choruses, and the belligerent Norse railings all allow for another worthy triumph, hail to Odin!



MICHAEL




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