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Review: Iron Mask - Revenge Is My Name
Iron Mask
Revenge Is My Name

Label: Lion Music
Year released: 2002
Duration: 52:35
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: August 26, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (16 Votes)

Neoclassical guitar wankery has never really been my thing. But I heard the title cut off this on a sampler CD and liked it enough to pick up the album. And while I must admit it isn't bad, it isn't as good as I'd hoped either. This is a first album from Iron Mask, a side project of Belgian shredder Dushan Petrossi of Magic Kingdom. Essentially something for him to do while his main band sorted out its legal problems with their label.

This is faintly proggy speed metal, reminiscent of Helloween or old Dio in places, with a very Italian sound. The riffing is technical and fast, with a crispy guitar tone that I wish was a little heavier. The solos, as you would expect, are very well-played and about equal parts Mozart and Yngwie. The vocals of Phil Letawe aren't bad, but they don't do much to punch up the music either. His voice is midrange and lacks variety in tone and approach. He gets the job done without distracting, but he doesn't have much charisma. Some of the songs here are pretty damned good. The title track is a cool double-bass speedster, "March of Victory" has a cool riff but the vocal melodies need work, and "The Wolf and the Beast" is a good song too.

But there are too many drawbacks for this to be a great disc. First of all, out of twelve tracks, five are instrumentals, and they aren't that great. So you're paying for only seven real songs, and one of them – "You Are My Blood" – is horrible. I'm sure Dushan loves his three year-old son, but did he have to write this shitty song about it? "You Are My Blood" is syrupy as any wussy ballad by Poison or Cinderella. It sucks my bag. The other songs on here are strictly so-so – nothing awful, but nothing great either.

The CD comes in a nice jewel case with good cover art that happens to look awful as a thumbnail. Trust me, in person it's actually pretty cool. The art design is really good and the lyrics are included. They're nothing that special though.

So this is not bad, and the few good songs on here, plus the OK ones, are enjoyable enough that I'm not sorry I bought it. (So long as I skip "You Are My Blood" – the gayness!) If this type of euro/power/speed metal is your stuff, then you'll probably like this more than I do, and then this would be a worthwhile purchase. But if your tastes run to more aggressive or extreme metal, avoid this like the plague, because you will hate it.

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