Iron Mask - Black As Death

Iron Mask - Black As Death

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(CD, Afm Records, 2011)

When you are a neoclassical Metal band and name your new album “Black As Death” you really have to mean business in order to convince the listener ‘bout the band’s intentions. IRON MASK got their name from the “Man In The Iron Mask” prisoner (whose real identity was a matter of subjects in lots of books - more info here) and is the brainchild of Belgium’s guitarist Dushan Petrossi. Having so far released three albums in the 00s, this new CD sees none other than Mark Boals delivering lead vocals and it’s for sure fans of the American singer will dig this new album no questions asked. But, what about the rest?

I can hardly remember the impression I got from the band’s latest album “Shadow Of The Red Baron” (2009) but I can imagine there’s no major difference in the new album. You get well-played and well-produced neoclassical Metal that draws inspiration from DEEP PURPLE and Yngwie Malmsteen while it features enough Euro Power elements that still do not tend to be dominant. There’s speed, there’s enough riff work blended with keyboard layers and the drums are once double-bass hammering while creating a darker atmosphere in slower parts. As for the solos: you just can imagine from what’s previously stated.

To the band’s benefit, the album title applies to the musical atmosphere since there’s a dark vibe spread in 62 minutes of music (a little too much - you may get bored) and the songs themselves do not show any tendency for happiness or at least high-energy music-making. I like Petrossi’s procedure in the main harmonies he builds in the songs: he can carry you to other places and times and, true to be said, the vocal experience of Mark Boals helps a lot to this direction since the multi-credited singer not only offers his untamed vocal range in ease but he also works a lot on vibrato singing in the crawling tempo song-parts, contributing to the total essence flourishing.

Not to neglect what’s already been said, bear in mind “Black As Death” includes songs that are long enough in duration and not forgetting how single-dimensional neoclassical Metal can beat times there’s a strong possibility you won’t fully enjoy what you’ll pay for. So, try before you buy but rest assured the instrumentation, sound and vocals are in a grand level.

6/10 


Links:

www.Iron-Mask.Com
www.MySpace.Com/IronMaskMetal


Tracklist:

01. From Light Into The Dark
02. Black As Death
03. Broken Hero
04. Feel The Fire
05. Genghis Khan
06. God Punishes, I Kill
07. Rebel Kid
08. Blizzard Of Doom
09. The Absence
10. Magic Sky Requiem
11. Nosferatu
12. When All Braves Fall


Lineup:

Mark Boals - Vocals
Dushan Petrossi - Guitars
Vassili Moltchanov - Bass
Roma Siadletski - Vocals, Shouts
Mats Olausson - Keyboards
Ramy Ali - Drums