This album came out late, late in 2011 and although I had heard about this great new band from Surrey, BC I didn’t have the opportunity to check it out until now. Iron Kingdom is a young quartet of true Metal warriors that have put out their debut album CURSE OF THE VOODOO QUEEN.
The album looks pretty well done for an independent act. The album cover is eye-catching and a classic ‘metal’ font logo is in place. The package is nice, with lyrics, photos and all that stuff. The album runs 48 minutes and as many albums, it starts with an instrumental intro and finishes with a 10+ epic called ‘Montezuma’. The production is commendable, it sounds good, everything in it’s place and they have captured a nice warm tone, not too sterile or digital.
CURSE OF THE VOODOO QUEEN I s really straight ahead Metal without many flourishes. That is not a bad thing, it’s pretty pure to the traditional sound of Metal, which is the bands intended goal as stated on the inside tray of the CD case where it says ‘Hail A Long Forgotten Sound, with Crash Of Steel and Bass Drum Pound’. Although the band does not have an extremely original sound, my regular readers know that is not an issue for me. I’d rather have a well-executed version of the form than something weird just for the sake of being weird. Accordingly, I’m really enjoying this album with it’s fine mix of blazing guitars, pounding drums and soaring vocals. There are some acoustic flourishes, as heard on ‘The Heretic’ and some spoken word bits to add some distinction. Iron Kingdom have a really good early 80’s American Metal sound, bringing comparisons to any number of bands like Medieval Steel, Obsession, Jag Panzer, Virgin Steele, Warlord, Manilla Road and bands of that style.
Chris Osterman handles the song-writing, singing and lead guitar. He has some nice solos and his voice sits in the higher range. The lyrics tell tales of True Metal especially a mid-tempo pounder called ‘Legions Of Metal’, a classic anthem if I have ever heard one. Amanda who handles the drums adds some backing vocals at times as well.
Iron Kingdom are on of many young Canadian bands that have thankfully, in my mind anyway, avoided the trap of following the trend of the hipster scene, and are not a part of the glut of no name MeloDeath bands, and generic Death Metal bands. They have struck out on their own path doing a sound that is not contemporarily popular (in North America at least) and CURSE OF THE VOODOO QUEEN is a breath of fresh air. We need more albums like this and bands like Iron Kingdom to wave the flag of Metal.
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