IRON FIRE - To The Grave

Iron Fire - To The Grave

12 songs
55:40 minutes


Releasing two albums in the early years of the millennium, Danish power metal band Iron Fire took a sabbatical and returned with new found vigour in the second half of the decade on Napalm Records where they continued their shameless exploitation of every imaginable true metal cliché. To The Grave is their fifth CD, coming one and a half year after its predecessor Blade Of Triumph, and everyone expecting significant changes should start looking elsewhere.

The first thing which struck me was how much the Danes must have listened to Manowar’s legendary Hail To England CD. Not only has Iron Fire’s Hail To Odin a very similar title, but the same can be said for March Of The Immortals and Kill For Metal which both have their analogues with Army Of The Immortals and Kill With Power on that classic piece of true metal from 1984. This is in my opinion Iron Fire’s biggest weakness. They adhere so closely to their heroes that they risk coming across like a parody. The very silly lyrics don’t help the situation.

Once you clear your head of those prejudices, it becomes clear that Iron Fire eventually sound much more European. They are a tried and tested power metal band, that much is clear, but their songs contain also sufficient European melodic power metal elements to make them interesting for fans of Gamma Ray, Hammerfall and the likes. The biggest asset of the band comes with vocalist Martin Steene who sports a very self-confident voice which at times even ventures into unexpected raw territories.

In the end, I remain with an ambivalent impression. Iron Fire should know after more than ten years in the rock’n’roll circus and five album to call their own that they need to set themselves free from their idols if they don’t want to end up as a mere parody. Their undisputed qualities (flawless playing technique, powerful production, above average vocalist) give them the necessary ingredients to make it work, now they only need the courage to grow up, get rid of the tiresome clichés, and who knows? Maybe they could come up with a real gem after all.

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