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Review: Ironsword - Servants of Steel
Servants of Steel

Label: Alma Mater Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 51:11
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: February 6, 2020
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.4/5 (88%) (10 Votes)

Five years after the somewhat disappointing None but the Brave, we finally get the fifth full-length from Ironsword, the Truest of True Metal bands. I have been a big fan of this outfit ever since their debut, and I was worried that they had begun to lose their touch, but Servants of Steel is a return to form in every sense of the word, even surpassing their classic works in some ways.

For one, this is the best production this band has ever gotten, courtesy of the great Harris Johns. The drums pound like thunder and the guitar sound is a steel-edged axe blade of destruction. He has captured a very lively, vibrant feel without sacrificing clarity or sharpness, and Ironsword have never sounded better.

The songwriting has taken a big step forward, back to the powerful, creative attack of Return of the Warrior, with riffs that are heavy and classic, but still spiked with little twists and turns that make the songs compulsively hooky. At their best this band has always managed to combine heaviness with catchiness, with drums and guitars and vocals trading off carrying the rhythms and the melodies to make for pure headbang fuel. This is honestly the best fistful of riffs the band has ever had on one album, and it's hard to pick out favorites with the album being so consistent.

Opener "Rogues in the House" gives you a taste of what is coming, with pummeling riffs and guest vocals from Manilla Road's Bryan Patrick doing his best to channel the Shark himself. "Upon the Throne", "In the Coils of Set", "Red Nails", "Keepers of the Crypt", "Black Colossus"—there just are not any bad songs on here, nor even any so-so ones. Every fucking tune kills all the way through to the closing title track. If you love Ironsword's mix of Manilla Road, Omen, Manowar, and Running Wild, then this album is just pure joy all the way.

More about Ironsword...
Review: In the Coils of Set (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Ironsword (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Ironsword (reviewed by Ulysses)
Review: None But the Brave (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Overlords of Chaos (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
Review: Overlords of Chaos (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Return of the Warrior (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Servants of Steel (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Underground (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Tann (Guitars/vocals) on May 4, 2004 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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