IRON FIRE "Beyond the Void"
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Band: Iron Fire
Title: Beyond The Void
Label: Crime Records
Release date: March 8, 2019
Format reviewed: high-rate mp3 promo
There is a fine line between power metal and traditional heavy metal. Sitting at the crossroad between epic heavy metal and speed metal, power metal saw a large number of permutations throughout the years. The Danes IRON FIRE have been crossing that line, both ways, numerous times since inception, over twenty years ago. The best selling brand in Denmark’s power metal market, formed in 1995 under the name Misery, soon to be changed to Decades Of Darkness, and finally settling for the IRON FIRE moniker towards the end of last millennium, and before releasing their 1998 demo. The Copenhagen band went on to release “Thunderstorm”, their full-length debut album in 2000, after signing with Noise Records. After a fair amount of stylistic and lineup changes, a couple of new record deals and seven additional studio albums released, we find IRON FIRE ready to release “Beyond the Void”, the band’s ninth studio album, on March 8th 2019, via Norwegian label Crime Records.
Founding member Martin Steene (vocals/bass) and his sidekicks, guitarist Kirk Backarach and drummer Gunnar Olsen, whom rejoined the band in 2015, after fifteen years of absence, as a power trio, are following up the greatness of albums such as “Voyage of the Damned” (2012) and “Among the Dead” (2016), with yet another epic chapter. “Beyond the Void” is wasting no time, kicking in high gear right from the start, with the title track, following the album’s intro, exposing the listeners to the album’s first class, modern power metal quality that spans over the entire length of the album, and on all twelve tracks offered. The well produced effort follows the great drumming velocity of “Beyond the Void”, with its nice solo and main riff, with the catchy lyrics, mostly mid tempo melodic rocker “Final Warning”, a song with a beautifully constructed path into the guitar’s solo. The fourth song on the album, “Cold Chains of the North” starts with a cool guitar lick, further highlighting the well captured guitar tone, and cool, as expected vocal delivery of down to earth lyrics. The up-tempo “Wrong Turn” immediately stands out with its rolling bass and a very cool chorus dialog between Martin and the background choir. With yet another cool guitar leading lick, “Bones and Gasoline” offers beside the great guitar chops and a very well constructed, cascading guitar solo, another dose of catchy lyrics, calming things down with its acoustic outro … even if for just a second … until track number seven, “Old Habits Die Hard” explodes out of the speakers. A song not only fast but with intimidating power to it. “Judgment Day” starts with another killer melodic guitar lick, by now a familiar trait on this album, all in great fashion due to the multitude of compositional and interpretative variations. A track continuing to build on the anthemic quality of this album, transitioning into a fast and dominating “To Hell and Back”. Moving on: the next track, “One More Bullet” opens with dynamic drum and bass, this time with some tasty bits of guitar layered over, plunging straight into a perfect song representation of the genre, with all of its pounding rhythm, riff chunks and two parts guitar solo. The second to last track, “The Devil’s Path” starts with a great lead-in riff, developing into yet another total headbanger of a song with a guitar solo in three parts! “Out of Nowhere”, the album twelfth and closing track, sums things up properly: the all (by now) familiar elements of this amazing body of music making distinctive returns, properly accented by confident drumming, rounding up a well captured, authentic sound production.
IRON FIRE has proven time and time again, that they are a band worthy of the listeners’ time. The forthcoming “Beyond the Void”, the band’s ninth studio album, bringing further proof, and than some, forever cementing their place into the realm of heavy metal. Tags need no apply. Highly recommended. 9/10
© 2019 by Emil Chiru