Ironflame - Blood Red Victory review
|Album:||Blood Red Victory|
|Release date:||February 2020|
01. Gates Of Evermore
02. Honor Bound
03. Seekers Of The Blade
04. Blood Red Cross
05. On Ashen Wings
06. Graves Of Thunder
07. Grace And Valor
08. Night Queen
09. The Serpent And The Throne [CD bonus]
10. Horns Held High [CD bonus]
Ironflame has been releasing a new album every 16 months or so and this is an impressive accomplishment on its own. Blood Red Victory is the third full-length of this newly formed band, but is it any good?
Another impressive feature of Ironflame, next to the fact that the band seems to churn out albums almost as frequently as new Batushkas emerge, is that it's a heavy/power metal one-man band. Recorded, performed, mixed, and mastered by multi-instrumentalist, Andrew D'Cagna, Blood Red Victory is a traditional metal release that tries to take hold of the flame first lit by bands such as Riot, Helloween, Fifth Angel, Iron Maiden... you get the point. Outside help was only provided in the soloing department, with live members Quinn Lukas (Icarus Witch) and Jesse Scott (Defy The Tide) offering some really flashy guitar work.
The album features three kinds of tracks; the slower epic battle motivators, the mid-tempo heavy metal bangers, and the faster power metal bullets. Ironflame pulls it off pretty well overall, and thankfully the European flower metal obsession with keyboards is nowhere to be heard. I particularly liked "Honor Bound" with the overly cheesy lyrics of victory and metal glory because, damn, do I have a soft spot for those, the title track that very much reminisces Iron Maiden's "Mother Russia", and "Night Queen", an extremely beautiful power ballad of sorts that has Crimson Glory and Queensrÿche written all over it. In a way though, this is the album's main strength and weakness at the same time; the mere fact that everything sounds very similar to either stuff that has been done before by other bands or even by Ironflame in the two previous records.
Despite the DIY ethos, there is quality musicianship on play here, so those who normally steer clear of one-man projects in fear of being subjected to some kind of 'jack of all trades/master of none' mediocrity can rest easy. Clearly the strongest point of D'Cagna is his voice and this is why he chooses to just hold the mic in Ironflame's live shows (there is a full line-up for gigs). I haven't seen them perform live yet myself, but I'll definitely do when I get the chance because the tunes are so uplifting and catchy and totally up my alley. However, the fact that the 'heard before' tag is so obvious makes it difficult for me to choose Blood Red Victory over other albums that are actually better and came out very long ago.
In any case, it's enjoyable, well-performed, and honest.
"Moon's rising, night's falling
Answer your metal calling
Tell others our story
Of heavy metal glory"
||Written on 03.03.2020 by|
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