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Join date : 2014-02-25
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|Iron Knights - Iron Knights (2014) Album Review|| |
Iron Knights - Iron Knights (2014)
Metalbox Recordings -- Running Time 44.31
UK based band Iron Knights are returning on 5th May 2014 with their second, self-titled album and there have been a few changes! To say it's been a tough two or three years for this band would probably be an understatement. Rising from the ashes of Stuka Squadron they released their debut 'New Sound Of War' (originally due to be Stuka Squadron's second) in 2012 to good reviews. They then got the chance to support Vicious Rumors on a European Tour in 2013. That went ahead, but for various reasons three of the band departed soon afterwards which left drummer Larry Paterson and bassist Paul 'Beam' Robbie to contemplate the future! Undeterred, they forged ahead with a change in direction (gone are the vampires of old) and recruited two new members to complete the refreshed Iron Knights lineup. I've had the new album in my clutches for a few weeks and now feel ready to give my honest opinion!
For lovers of traditional Heavy Metal, Power Metal and even Thrash with a modern slant then you are pretty much guaranteed to really like what Iron Knights have come up with here. On first listen I was actually quite taken aback by the diversity in sound and quietly thought to myself 'do this band really know what direction they want to go in'. Subsequent spins have softened that view, because the more you listen the more cohesive the album becomes and you begin to understand what Iron Knights are trying to achieve!
First new member to mention is guitarist Wayne Mann who embellishes and thickens the sound with some great work. Second new member is guitarist and lead vocalist Jamie Gibson. Once again I'm impressed with his guitar work but I'm afraid I do have one or two small worries about his vocals. On the thrashier tracks such as the incredible 'Blind' (almost Def-Con-One heavy), and closing track Jericho (one of the songs being kept from the previous lineup) his more shouted harsh vocals are great. My concern arises when his 'singing' voice appears in 'A Chapter's Lesion' and 'Cry For Help' amongst others. He doesn't appear to be completely comfortable in the key the tracks have been written in (too low) and it exposes a weakness in his vocals. Ok, I've heard some diabolical singing over the years and I'm certainly not lumping Jamie in with those, he still has a good voice, but I'm really not sure if he has the lungs to drive Iron Knights forward to the next level!
On the plus side my mate Larry who, by the way, is one of the nicest and most talented people you could ever wish to meet puts in a quite superb performance on the drums, he has a fantastic rhythm relationship with Paul and the songs themselves have some thunderous riffs, solos and hooks present which should have you banging your head nicely!
You could perhaps view 'Iron Knights' the album as a transitional release. Things have hardly been stable and with plenty of live shows under their belts (I am really looking forward to seeing them at Rock Haven in Lincoln, UK on 31st May & again later in the year at the second Rock And Metal Circus Festival) and more time to gel album number three could well be the one. This is still a great album but you should know me well enough by now to realise that I have to call it as I hear it!
Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley
Band Photo by Graham Pentz