|Review: Iron Mask - Shadow Of The Red Baron|
|Shadow Of The Red Baron|
Label: Lion Music
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 21, 2010
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
for:Shadow Of The Red Baron
Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (15 Votes)
This is the third full-length release from one of Belgium's finest exports, Iron Mask. Shadows Of The Red Baron marks a successful return following a four year hiatus since their last output, the lauded Hordes Of The Brave. Now I'm not really sure if I should categorize Iron Mask as a full time band or just a side project of one Dushan Petrossi, especially when you see Petrossi's name splashed on the cover of the album. Some of you may recognize Petrossi from his work in another Power Metal band or side project if you will who also received positive press at the time of their one and only release, that being Magic Kingdom.
In any event Shadows Of The Red Baron is a finely executed example of Neoclassical Power Metal, highlighted by Petrossi's guitar virtuosity, but what makes this album unique is the fact that it is multifaceted in terms of the elements that are on display here, certainly as previously mentioned there are neoclassical elements, but the presence of symphonic, melodic and good old fashioned old school Power Metal, lends to the creation of an album that contains immense variety, with songs that do not mimic one another in style or tempo, providing the listener a more enjoyable listening experience, which in turn rivets your attention toward the music. Vocalist Goetz "Valhalla Jr. Mohre has a powerful midrange voice that for the sake of comparison reminds me of old Rainbow singer Graham Bonnett, and at times Nightmare's Joe Amore. In fact, I'm sure it is no coincidence the band's sound at various moments gives a respectful nod to Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and also Deep Purple – just check out the eerie Jon Lord sounding keyboards in "Dreams" as validation. Clearly, it is Petrossi's masterful fretwork that takes center stage as the most prominent of the albums features, but this is no one trick pony as the keyboards provide a solid backdrop to the musical landscape and the rhythm section anchored by bassist Vassili Moltchanov and new drummer Eric Stout, formerly of Reign of Terror, which plays a vital role in the bands successful execution. In fact Petrossi himself commented on how pleased he was with Stout's performance, stating "that his tom fills sounded like earthquakes". Guest musician Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) provides his lead vocal talents on the song "Dreams" in addition to contributing to the catchy over the top chorus lines which stick in your head long after the 11 songs have finished playing, always a strong indicator of quality songwriting.
In conclusion, Shadow Of The Red Baron is a melting pot of heavy metal variations, promoting the combined characteristics of Neoclassical/Symphonic/Melodic and Power Metal, certainly enough diversity to attract the most discriminate of heavy metal tastes.
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