Artist: Iron Mask
Album: Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
Label: AFM Records
Genre: Power Metal/Hard Rock
The title and sleeve suggests some old school speed metal or maybe Viking death but instead the band have chosen a fusion of power metal and hard rock as their genre. Or rather, hard rock with some heavier and faster bits.
Opener “Back Into Mystery
" is very much staple hard rock territory and very good at it before a cataclysmic guitar solo arrives out of nowhere and ruins the whole feel. Perhaps that is the mystery.
“Like A Lion In A Cage
" then sees the guitar drift towards something like
Yngwie, and here’s the suggested pace too. Just two songs, well one and a bit, and it is fairly clear that the guitarist thinks he is in a different band.
Although I have never not made it to the end of an album this sort of preposterous noodling tempted me to switch this one off. There’s a decent hard rock band that leans towards something a little heavier, dipping its toes and a little more in the waters of melodic metal. But extravagant self satisfying guitar flourishes sit totally out of place.
The band do mix it up well and when they stick to the harder rock they are great. The massive title track heads off to some interesting places once it really gets going and has nods to the epics suggested by its title.
The album is too mixed, songs themselves too often quite disjointed. They need to decide what they play and stick to it - I suggest heavy hard rock on the cusp of melodic metal, as they are very good at it. A few strong songs don’t allow me to rate this as highly as I might want to and more out of place guitar solos on closer “The Picture Of Dorian Grey
" just leave a lingering memory of what is wrong here.13/20