Saturday, October 5, 2019

review: Iron Kingdom

Iron Kingdom
On The Hunt
4 October 2019
Sound: Canada’s Iron Kingdom is a living incarnation of an obsession with the young and vibrant heavy metal that rose to international prominence starting at the end of the 1970s and grew exponentially in the early 1980s.
Production: The overall sound quality is clear and good. The band likes that vintage production and this 2019 album is a good representation of the style. The only question is whether the drums are real, live drums, and it does not sound like it. The drums sound too modern: a little too soft, plastic, like sound replacement technology, which is the way most metal bands do their drums.
Instrumentation: The band lives and dies by the power of the riff. Lots of classic-style riffs and lots of soloing. Shredding, melodic, guitar harmonies and bluesy solos are all part of the tools of the trade.
Vocals: Iron Kingdom goes high on the singing. The singing has a particular gritty personality that tells you that you are listening to Iron Kingdom, and no one else.
Songs: The songs are catchy. For banging your head and for physical movement, for the most part.
Lyrics: If there are any profanities at all, they are not very noticeable. The band has lyrics about stories that seem like fairy tales, others about self-confidence, about rocking out, and things like that.
Potential audience: Fans of classic rock, hard rock, heavy rock, traditional heavy metal focused on guitars, singing and catchy songs might be surprised by this album!
Similar bands: Scorpions 1979, 1980, 1982; Iron Maiden 1980, 1981; Judas Priest 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982; Saxon 1979, 1980, 1981; Angel Witch 1980; Tygers of Pan Tang 1980, 1981; Anvil 1981, 1982; some contemporaries: Skelator (Seattle); Katana (Sweden); Assassin’s Blade; Axemaster; quite a few of the bands on Pure Steel Records.
Assessment: Given the illustrious tradition that Iron Kingdom takes up as a musical mission, the album is done remarkably well. It is time for fans of the style to give the Canadians a good listen because they have lots to offer. The singing is unique and the guitar heroes of heavy metal have done a great job of inspiring this band. If you are a big fan of traditional heavy metal, you might have some problems moving on from this album: you’ll find that it is worth repeated listens.
By the way, this band does tour, and they are on tour now in October and November, and if they come to your town or a neighboring town, it is guaranteed that they will present to you a serious effort to entertain and rock you. iron-kingdom.bandcamp.com/album/on-the-hunt

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