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Review: Iron Kingdom - Gates of Eternity
Iron Kingdom
Gates of Eternity

Label: Independent
Year released: 2013
Duration: 56:54
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: August 14, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Gates of Eternity

Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

You say you're a big fan of the early, John Arch Fates Warning albums? Well, Canada's Iron Kingdom has an album you'll want to give a listen to. Gates of Eternity is the band's second full-length and if you had played it for me and said it was lost outtakes from around the time of The Spectre Within, I would have looked at you funny but in the back of my mind been thinking "could it be...?" The biggest reason for the similarity between the bands has to be the vocals of Chris Osterman. I don't want to say he sounds exactly like John Arch but if a Fates Warning cover band needed a vocalist this guy would have to top the list. He has the same clear, frenetic delivery and sings the same type of wild, dissonant-yet-complimentary vocal lines that characterized the early Fates Warning albums. Musically, Iron Kingdom opt for a less progressive, Iron Maiden style of traditional Heavy Metal complete with galloping bass lines, arpeggio-laden lead work and rock-solid drumming. Gates of Eternity is an independent release and that shows in the production, which is bottom heavy and somewhat muddy. While that is a bit distracting it also gives the album a retro-sound.

There's nothing unique about any of the songs on Gates of Eternity and it is a bit too close to being a Fates Warning "tribute" album for comfort but there is no denying the talent of the band or the energy of the performances. I'd like to hear Iron Kingdom refine their sound and make it a bit more distinctive but, until then, I'm still going to enjoy some Fates Warning worship and fans of the Connecticut legends likely will, as well. And I'd love to see them live; I bet they can do a killer cover of "Fata Morgana."

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