Iron Mask 
                                                           Fifth Son of Winterdoom  AFM Records  

Neo-Classical / Power Metal Band Iron Mask have released their fifth album with 'Fifth Son of Winterdoom'.  Having never really paid much attention to this band in the past, I was pleasantly surprised at how catchy and instantly likeable the album is.  'Back Into Mystery' opens proceedings and is an energetic, bouncy number to kick things off, with a super sing-along metal chorus you can’t go wrong really.  Why I have neglected this band for so long is a mystery in itself.   With the  roar of a big feline and we are into 'Like a Lion in a Cage'. 

 

I love this great opening with the guitars and drums coming into their own with force. Guitarist Dushan Petrossi excels and really show cases his talents with steel abandonment, the exceptionally talented Mark Boals (ex. Yngwie Malmsteen and Royal Hunt amongst others) really stands out on vocals and you really have a winning formula with a truly classic symphonic power metal tune. 

 

The pace slows down a bit for 'One Commandment' it’s a chugging song, with a memorable chorus.  Next the Far East comes to life with 'Seven Samurai', it attacks your senses, it’s a battle hungry song as the hordes of warriors clash and a fight for honour and pride commences.  We are then transported as ten minutes of majestic epicness begin with the title track 'Fifth Son of Winterdoom'.  It’s an absorbing, sublime track with heavy Scottish influences, which did erm remind me a bit of Big Country!!! The musicianship I mean! But hats off to Iron Mask, you do get the feeling and vibe of the Highlands, it’s extremely well done. 

 

'Angel Eyes Demon Soul' is radio friendly and melodic, also the weakest track on here, that said it’s not awful.  'Rock Religion' turns the Metal forge back up to eight, a metal anthem, well obviously it is!  The title gives it away!  Then the mood swings to a ballad, dedicated to Petrossis father who died last year, it’s a nice heartfelt tribute.  'Eagle of Fire' lightens the mood.  Then it’s back to some great riffs and hard rocking. 

 

Stuck in between the next two tracks , which both run over seven minutes, is the racing 'Run To Me'.  'Reconquista 1892' has a Spanish flavour, given away by the title!  An acoustic guitar opens proceedings and brings to mind a slow flamenco dance in the Iberian sunshine, then it opens up as the band unleash seven minutes of sheer musical finesse, this band seem to know their history.  It's intelligent, maybe a bit too long.  Final track is a lesson in literature inspired by Oscar Wildes tome 'Dorian Gray', it’s a fine song with riffs and solos aplenty.

 

The band released their debut in 2002 with 'Revenge is my Name' and have built up a hard core following and with 'Fifth Son', I can see their fan-base growing it is a Melodic, Power Metal delight.  Like I stated earlier, I am not that clued up on these Belgian rockers and have neglected to really fully appreciate this band, that’s now changed forever!  I will be keeping my eye out for them, especially when we are next over in mainland Europe and hopefully I will catch them live sometime in the near future.

 

Review by: Seb Di Gatto

Tracklisting:

1. Back Into Mystery 
2. Like A lion In A Cage
3. One Commandment
4. Seven Samurai
5. Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
6. Angel Eyes Demon Soul
7. Rock Religion
8. Father Farewell
9. Eagle Of Fire
10. Reconquista 1492
11. Run To Me
12. The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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