|Iron Knights - 'New Sound Of War' (Metalbox Recordings)|
|Written by Chris O|
|Wednesday, 02 January 2013 04:00|
The fact that this album exists makes me happy. It was made during a tumultuous time for the band (the well documented switch from Stuka Squadron to Iron Knights), which meant it could easily never have seen the light of day. Thanks to the determination of the band it has, and I must say I am impressed with the way they’ve dealt with the whole saga. This album also confirms that there are people out there still prepared to fight to make ‘no messing about’, straight down the line heavy metal.
I'll get the negatives out of the way first, because there are just a few. As much as I love this album, the fact it was written “under enemy fire” does show at times. At 40 minutes long it's a lot shorter than their debut ‘Tales Of The Ost’. There are also a couple of songs that I don't quite get (‘Feeder Of Crows’ is growing on me VERY slowly but it will never graduate beyond filler for me) and there are no rumbling epics such as the brilliant 'One Eyed God King'.
That said, there are many more highs than lows here. 'Legion' is a monster of a song that is a perfect rallying cry for all Iron Knights to gather behind. I can see myself saluting this live with a defiant glint in my eye turned against all those who try to bring the Iron Knights down.
Another stand out moment is 'Tell Me Strange Things’, a song that is dripping with a wonderfully creepy atmosphere. I played this track to my 6 year old boy a few days ago and he now won't let me play it in the night time again.
And it would be remiss of me to fail to mention 'The Messenger'. When I first heard the opening riffs I made a metal face that I didn't know I had, kind of like a metal orgasm without the spunk. If I ever have to explain to aliens what metal sounds like, I will play them this.
So how does the album sound? Well I adore the guitar sound throughout, showcased by the gorgeous solo from Gravedigger Cox on the short instrumental 'Immortals'. Whenever I hear it I just don't want it to end. The drum sound is also spot on for me. It's very prominent, a bit like ‘Battle Hymns’ era Manowar. The real differentiator for Iron Knights is Fang's vocals though. The bloke sounds like he's been sent by Cthulu himself to breath metal into the world.
All in all, this is a great album recorded under very difficult circumstances. It's not perfect but its chuffin’ good. I just hope that Iron Knights can shake off their troubles and stride unhindered into 2013.