Rating:
7.0
Iron Mask - Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
8 November 2013


01. Back Into Mystery
02. Like A Lion In A Cage
03. Only One Commandment
04. Seven Samurai
05. Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
06. Angel Eyes, Demon Soul
07. Rock Religion
08. Father Farewell
09. Eagle Of Fire
10. Reconquista 1492
11. Run To Me
12. The Picture Of Dorian Grey


"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse."
- Winston Churchill


Iron Mask, one of the two sons of Belgian guitarist Dushan Petrossi alongside with Magic Kingdom, is back with its fifth effort and, wonder of wonders, they've managed to maintain the same line-up that recorded 2011's Black As Death!

To anyone who's even slightly familiar with Iron Mask, this album has really few chances to bamboozle you, since Petrossi doesn't seem too interested in revolutionizing his trademark style. For those of you that are new with the band, I'm pretty sure I'll feed your curiosity about this combo's genre saying that it inherits atmospheres and sound from the Scandinavian branch of power metal, while, regarding the inescapable cheesiness, it draws inspiration from the German division.

This said, you should have already figured out whether Fifth Son Of Winterdoom suits your tastes or not, so let's start analyzing it in its features. If this album had to be portrayed in two words, those would be traditional and good. And, although those adjectives are pretty trivial, I could have almost finished describing this release.

This, in fact, being a typical power metal album, has infinitesimal chances to appeal to genre outsiders, while it will likely be well accepted by the tireless lovers of blades, ice, armours and cartoon-style covers (even if I have to admit that this time the album artwork has somehow gone beyond rationality). Every feature this last group of people have learned to worship is there, and is actually upright. Vocals, guitar work, musicianship in general, the tempo, the song placement, the ballad, the suites, are good overall.

The problem is that Fifth Son Of Winterdoom fails in displaying that quid required for it to emerge from the sea of "just good" albums. For every dynamic Stratovarius-like guitar-keyboard duet there's a questionable choice of lyrics, for a surprisingly good song topic as the one in "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" there's a filler that could have been avoided, for every good sing-along chorus there are ideas that could have been implemented. And that's the leitmotif of the whole album: for every light that shines, there's a hidden dark hole.

Luckily, merits here take the lead over blemishes, granting the album's overall enjoyment from start to finish. Judging from the 2010 and 2011 releases, Shadow Of The Red Baron and Black As Death, Iron Mask fans could have expected something more, but this is it: a good power metal release. Nothing more, but, what's probably more important, nothing less.


Band profile: Iron Mask
Album: Fifth Son Of Winterdoom


 



Written on 19.12.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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Empyror - 19.12.2013 at 22:54  
I agree with this review for the most part, only I'm going to be a little harsher on it for mostly the same reasons the review dinged it for. I would give it a 6 out of 10 and say that the missed opportunities outweigh the shining moments. I was really looking forward to this album because I like Black as Death a whole lot and if they had just made an album that was a copy of that one, I would have been satisfied as I am not listening to Iron Mask for innovation and progression, but to hear Malmsteen style power metal. I just found very little about this album catchy. The few moments that stand out aren't worth listening to the entire album for. It sounds rushed and slopped together to me. I really, really wanted to like this album a lot too, but in the end I am pretty indifferent about it.
J. H'ghar - 20.12.2013 at 17:56  
If I rate this according to your opening citation, what we have here is a pile of rotting mutton.
R Lewis - 20.12.2013 at 17:59  
Written by J. H'ghar on 20.12.2013 at 17:56

If I rate this according to your opening citation, what we have here is a pile of rotting mutton.

That's what it's gonna become if the band sticks to these formulas.
This is still decent.
J. H'ghar - 20.12.2013 at 18:06  
Written by R Lewis on 20.12.2013 at 17:59

Written by J. H'ghar on 20.12.2013 at 17:56

If I rate this according to your opening citation, what we have here is a pile of rotting mutton.

That's what it's gonna become if the band sticks to these formulas.
This is still decent.

It isn't as horrible as it sounds, but extremely average at best. I do not hear any real innovation, therefore my previous "rating".
R Lewis - 20.12.2013 at 18:25  
Written by J. H'ghar on 20.12.2013 at 18:06

It isn't as horrible as it sounds, but extremely average at best. I do not hear any real innovation, therefore my previous "rating".

You're right in fact. This isn't bad, it simply keeps losing appeal year after year. It's dead.
3rdWorld - 28.12.2013 at 14:54  
Good performance by the band but way too generic.

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