Iron Fire founder Martin Steene has seen more than his share of heavy metal tragedy since the band's formation. Iron Fire has changed personnel more often than a cheap, red light whore in Copenhagen. Add to this label problems and poor reviews in the past, well, you get my drift. Thankfully, Steene and current company have pressed on. 2007's 'Blade Of Triumph,' though hardly perfect, began Iron Fire's metal resurrection. This year's 'To The Grave' finds Iron Fire getting their groove by easily repeating the best found on the previous work. Unfortunately, the album is hampered by some tedious and momentum killing moments.
'To The Grave' starts well with 'The Beast From The Blackness.' You know you're listening to power metal of sorts, but that's about it: it's the first of the tedious moments. Iron Fire quickly rebounds on the Manowar cliche 'Kill For Metal' with it's heavy riffs, energetic pace and solid solo. So now I think we're on course. Well, sort of: the tediousness continues. 'To The Grave' is generic heavy metal and 'The Battlefield,' with it's lyrical hyperbole, only delivers a catchy chorus. By now, I'm verging on disappointment.
But wait! Beginning with 'Cover The Sun' and following through 'The Kingdom,' Iron Fire drastically improves. This is some truly massive and invigorating heavy and power metal. For good measure, Iron Fire tips the hat to thrash at the beginning of 'The Kingdom.' But then things get choppy: from tedious to momentous only to crash down again. Here's the pattern: low, 'Frozen In Time; high, the stand out song and immensely true metal 'Hail To Odin' (or Manowar); low, 'Doom Riders,' average power metal; high: the excellent vocal arrangements and fret work of 'Ghost Of Vengeance;' and finally, the almost low and more simple melodic metal, 'The Demon Master.'
So there you have it: when Iron Fire is good, they are really very good delivering the real deal: true heavy power metal. Unfortunately, in between the awesome stuff, 'To The Grave' is marred by an uneven pattern of uninspired power and traditional metal that thwarts it's true success. Though I enjoyed the listen, 'To The Grave' is still not quite the album that is going to push Iron Fire to next level.
When Iron Fire is good, they are really very good delivering the real deal: true heavy power metal. Unfortunately, in between the awesome stuff, 'To The Grave' is marred by an uneven pattern of uninspired power and traditional metal that thwarts it's true success.