Iron Fire - Blade of triumph 4/5

Reviewed: 9-28-07


1. Dragonheart
2. Bloodbath of knights
3. Dawn of victory
4. Lord of the labyrinth
5. Bridges will burn
6. Follow the sign
7. Steel invaders
8. Jackal's eye
9. Legend of the magic sword
10. Gladiator's path
11. Blade of triumph

Martin Steene's Danish true metal mongers return with a solid 4th CD that fully satisfies...

When Iron Fire arrived on the scene with their debut, it was a well done typical power metal CD, with Running Wild influences among others, and had the benefit of that fresh naivete that you just can't recapture with later offerings. It was quite a surprise when their sophomore effort fulfilled that eponymous curse with 'On the edge', a slightly commercial leaning and overall tepid execution.

However, Mr. Steene seemed to find his metal with his 2 CDs with Force of Evil (Mercyful Fate sans the King), which were strong, unique, and underrated melodic dark metal CDs, and last year's 'Revenge' was an all out solid effort, returning completely to his power metal roots and also upping the intensity with a good sense of passion.

'Blade of triumph' continues that promise with solid, well-written melodic power metal. While not quite fitting into any particularly archetypal category, it certainly won't covert fans who are sick of a pure European metal sound, but it does have some uniqueness to them. Most prominent is Mr. Steene's vocals, which have that (how do I describe this?) slightly held back, partially NWOBHMish, presentation, rather than being a more straighforward Kiske piercer, still sounding much like they did on the prior 3 Iron Fire CDs and both Force of Evil CDs, that is, they are still clear and completely melodic, but it's as if he was singing against the top of his mouth than from deep in his voice box. The instrumental work is clear, strong, and solid, and it's a really nice production throughout for all the elements.

The lyrics aren't the cheesiest in the true metal category that you'll hear, but they're chock full of all the classic cliches; swords, sorcery, magick, quests, and yes, a bit of metal here and there. Most of those I still like, but again, if you've had enough of this forever, you probably will remain tired of it on this CD. But every aspect of the CD's cover, song titles, and pictures should probably have given you ample warning on the way.

For those who still love this type of music like I do, this is a great, solid example of it, and for those tired of it, its minorly unique qualities won't change your mind.




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