|Review: Iron Fire - To the Grave|
|To the Grave|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 13, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:To the Grave
Iron Fire return with album number five, and there will be no surprises here for fans of the band. The liner notes call To The Grave 'a bit darker', but I have to say I don't hear that at all. This more of the same Scandinavian Power Metal this band has always made, with a crisp, glossy production and Martin Steene's characteristic smooth vocal tones. This band does not have a keyboard player, and as always this puts them more in the vein of Cryonic Temple than Stratovarius (Ugh).
This album is not quite as heavy and catchy as their last one, the enormously entertaining Blade Of Triumph. There is a bit more depth to the riffage, and something of an attempt to go beyond simple 'verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus' songwriting, but just a bit. Most of the songs like "The Demon Master", "March Of The Immortals", and "Doom Riders" have the same shout-along, fist-in-the-air choruses we expect from this band. The recording is clear and sharp, though the guitar tone does not bite quite as well as it did last time. Steene looks more like a cross between Thom Yorke and Johnny Rotten every year, but he wields perhaps the quintessential voice in Scandinavian Power Metal — smooth and clean with just a touch of grit.
There's nothing here quite as cool as "Bloodbath of Knights" or "Steel Invaders", but this is still a fun album. Iron Fire aren't going to change the world, but they write big, heavy albums with songs about warriors, demons, swords, and metal, and that's what it's all about.
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