Formed a mere two years ago by guitarist Chris Osterman, British Columbia's Iron Kingdom delivers their second long player, Gates of Eternity. This band unashamedly channels the spirit of classic heavy metal, drawing inspiration from peers like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, European power metallers Blind Guardian, and national heroes, Rush.
You might hear a little of that last band in Osterman's vocal style, but he's not quite as screechy as Geddy Lee. The comparisons to Rush also end there. While some of their song arrangements offer the same sophistication, Iron Kingdom does not sound like Rush at all. My best instincts find the band sounding like a cross between Iron Maiden and older Manilla Road.
Essentially, what Iron Kingdom offers is straight up old school heavy metal with Osterman's vocals and impressive guitar skills at the forefront. Actually, excepting two songs, the instrumental Candeloro and the closing Shadow of Death, the songs seem designed as platforms for Osterman's solos. So if you like your metal traditional with lots of guitar play, this is first class stuff. (The about section of their Facebook page has second guitarist Kenny Kroecher offering leads, but I don't know if he has any on this album.)
Also rather compelling is the drum work of Osterman's sister Amanda, a classically trained drummer. Notable performances come on At the Gates, Demon of Deception and Egypt. That last song is likely the signature piece of the album. At better than 15 minutes, Iron Kingdom goes for adding 'epic' to the description of their traditional heavy metal, and succeeds quite well. It's a solid arrangement that keeps you interested with tempo changes and an abundance of ripping guitar solos. For another case of old school metal being the new school, Iron Kingdom's Gates of Eternity is on the mark, and rather impressive and entertaining. Very recommended.
For another case of old school metal being the new school, Iron Kingdom's Gates of Eternity is on the mark, and rather impressive and entertaining.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]