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Review: Ironsword - In the Coils of Set
In the Coils of Set

Label: Alma Mater Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 23:26
Tracks: 3
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: February 17, 2020
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

This was the EP Ironsword put out last year as they were gearing up for the release of Servants of Steel. At first, I was not sure why they would release an EP so very close to the album release, but then I came to understand that this is essentially a tribute recording.

The first two tracks are the title cut—which also appears on Servants of Steel, though the recording sounds a bit weaker here—and a non-album track, "Disciples", which is pretty good, but not that great. Again, the recording job lacks the polish of the studio album, and I wonder why that is. "Disciples" sounds like a leftover cut from None but the Brave to me.

More than half the running time of this EP is taken up with the fifteen-minute track "Fallen Brothers", which is not what I expected it to be. I was wondering how Ironsword's pummeling steel-assault style would adapt to making a genuine epic, but it's not that at all. It took me a minute to realize that this song is a dead-on impression of eeaarrrly Manilla Road—like, Dreams of Eschaton Manilla Road. Obviously intended as a tribute to Mark Shelton, this features Tann digging into his most Shark-like vocal style and a composition that is almost nothing like Ironsword's other stuff. This is straight-up an homage to songs like "Triumverate", "Venusian Sea", and most of all "The Court of Avalon" off Manilla Road's long-unreleased could-have-been second album.

It's an interesting choice, and while it trips the nostalgia pretty hard, Tann is just not the guitar player Mark was, so the song goes on a long time, but without the innovative, soulful playing that always marked Manilla Road from their earliest days. That said, musically and lyrically it is a moving tribute, and once I heard it, I understood why they recorded it, and also why they could not have put it on an album like Servants of Steel, and had to make this EP as a space for it.

More about Ironsword...
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: Servants of Steel (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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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