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Review: Iron Mask - Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
Iron Mask
Fifth Son Of Winterdoom

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2013
Duration: 1:06:05
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: March 16, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Fifth Son Of Winterdoom

Rated 3.54/5 (70.77%) (13 Votes)

Fifth Son of Winterdoom is the fifth album for Belgium's Iron Mask and it sees them continue on the path of crunchy, Euro Power Metal they've been following since 2002. Sort of. I have to laugh a bit because the neo-classical guitar work, bright keyboards and huge choruses had me immediately thinking of Yngwie Malmsteen's album Trilogy. When I looked up Iron Mask's line-up and saw that Mark Boals was behind the mic, the same singer as on Trilogy, it made sense. Songs like "Seven Samurai," "Like a Lion in a Cage" and "Run to Me" hit all the same notes that made the Swedish guitar maestro's albums such fun. The technically wizardry of guitarist Dushan Petrossi doesn't hurt, either. Those songs, while not revolutionary, are good at what they are aiming to be, but there are some other tracks on Fifth Son of Winterdoom that will leave you scratching your head. "Back into Mystery" and "Angel Eyes, Demon Soul" are so different, in a happy, lets-skip-to-the-park Hair Metal way I had to go back to the Metal Archives to make sure that, yes indeed, this band's last album was called Black as Death. These two songs should be on a mid-80s Y&T album, for crying out loud. I'm not saying they are bad, if you like that sort of music, but what atmosphere killers they are. The title track, on the other hand, is firmly in the mold of the rest of the album musically but suffers from long, boring effects, overwrought storytelling and a 10+ minute length, and it barely remains interesting for a third of that time. It's like the band had the title and tried to come up with something epic to go around it and fell short by about six minutes. It they'd wanted to pick a great song to represent the album they needed to look no further than the closer, "The Picture of Dorian Gray." This tale of a man who maintains his youth while his portrait grows older is a fascinating retelling of the Oscar Wilde novel and features the best, most engaging songwriting on the album.

Fifth Son of Winterdoom has some decent crunchy Power Metal, with an excellent example of how good this genre can be right at the end. It also features some subpar songwriting to go along with truly curious sequencing decisions. In other words, it is the epitome of a mixed bag.

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