Iron Mask - Hordes of the brave 4/5

Reviewed: 6-10-05


1. Holy war
2. Freedom's blood - The patriot
3. The invisible empire
4. High in the sky
5. Demon's child
6. Alexander the great - Hordes of the brave (part 1)
7. Crystal tears
8. Iced wind of the north
9. Time
10. My eternal flame
11. Troops of Avalon

Iron Mask should be considered a solo CD by Dushan Petrossi with accompaniment from his band. Petrossi is the leader of the band and writes every part of every track. He has made CDs under 2 different band names, Iron Mask and Magic Kingdom. The 2nd CD by each band was a noticeable improvement over the first. Both bands are pretty much the same, neo-classical shred-fests with good, but not overwhelming, melodies... Petrossi knows his style and isn’t about to change for anyone. If you like neo-classical metal along the line of Malmsteen, Symphony X, Richard Andersson, etc, you will like this CD and if you don’t, you won’t like this CD. It’s really as simple as that.

This is a very good CD and matches up well to anything Petrossi has done to this point. The 2nd Magic Kingdom CD, ‘Metallic tragedy’ may be a little better to some as it’s a touch more melodic, but overall the quality of the 2 CDs is similar. ‘Hordes of the brave’ is a little heavier and darker. Most of the tracks on this CD are much alike; speedy, heavy and fairly melodic. The main singer on the CD is Goetz Mohre who is a powerhouse of a singer with a very strong voice that stays in the lower ranges – there are no screechy vocals here. Ex At Vance singer Oliver Hartmann sings on 3 tracks very effectively; his vocals are not easily distinguishable from Mohre’s during a casual listen, however. On keyboards is the aforementioned neo-classical powerhouse Richard Anderrson who is the leader of such bands as Space Odyssey, Majestic and Time Requiem. His speedy keyboards are all over this CD. Although many of these tracks are similar, a few should be mentioned. “Alexander the great – Hordes of the Brave (part 1)” is the only track that slows the CD down, other than the one ballad. This is a heavy track, but is slower and more plodding than most of the CD. The one balled is “My eternal flame” and it is excellent, especially the guitar melodies near the end. The one throwaway track is “Iced wind of the north” which is a solid track but seems unnecessary here. The CD ends with a very strong track, the excellent “Troops of Avalon”.

Dushan Petrossi has already become a force in his genre. This CD is better than the first release by Iron Mask and is on par with the excellent 2nd release by Magic Kingdom, although the 2 CDs sound a little different. 'Hordes of the brave' features excellent songwriting and a very strong band. The only complaint is it could have been just a little bit more melodic. Petrossi shows no signs of letting up and the fact that “Alexander the great – Hordes of the brave (part 1)” is on this CD, but part 2 isn’t, suggests that a follow-up is coming sometime in the future. That will be something for which to look forward.




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