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Where Ironcrosses Grow
Released: 2004, Karmageddon
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
With a title like WHERE IRONCROSSES GROW one would think the cover art is begging to be for a picture of a graveyard or perhaps a Word War I, trench battlefield with iron crosses (gravemarkers) strewn around, but no. Instead we get a fairly old school Death Metal album cover art by none other than master artist Dan Seagrave, in his distinct and iconic style. They had not used Dan as a cover artist since their debut back in 1991. It's a still a very nice picture of a monster-dude but I'm not sure it fits the title theme.
Dismembers 6th album marked some changes in the band and it’s world. After a long and productive five-album relationship with Nuclear Blast Records, the band took a four year hiatus, the longest in their career thus far. They returned on Candlelight in Europe and the much smaller Karmageddon label in the US. Drummer Fred Estby, self-produced the 10-song effort. Most importantly the composition of band had changed. Rejoining them was original bassist Richard Cabeza after a six or seven year break. The band dropped short-lived guitarist, Magnus Sahlgren in exchange for introduced new guitarist Martin Persson, (shortly after the album was recorded) now making the band a quintet again.
The album is really fierce with the mandatory buzzsaw guitar tone right up in front. Vocalist Matti sounds as good as ever, even more rejuvenated as he adds extra aggression to his performance. The songs have some good diversity but are mostly mid-paced to the faster end of the spectrum. On a few songs like ‘Where Angles Fear To Tread’ the bands slows right down but it breaks up the album nicely. They are also quite short, running in the three to four minute range so they don’t get too adventurous, just neck-snapping riffs that cause the maximum amount of damage and then get out.
WHERE IROCROSSES GROW was considered a very good return to form, albeit with a slightly new sound and style. The last pair of albums (HATE CAMPAIGN and DEATH METAL) had not captured the imagination of Death Metal fans and the band returned with a blend of the sound of the first two ‘pure’ Death Metal albums and the slower heft of MASSIVE KILLING CAPACITY. The new blend/sound seemed to work as the next three albums were all very well-regarded until the band broke-up in 2011, exactly 20 years after the debut.
1. Where Ironcrosses Grow
2. Forged with Hate
4. Tragedy of the Faithful
5. Chasing the Serpent
6. Where Angels Fear to Tread
7. Sword of Light
8. As the Coins upon Your Eyes
9. Children of the Cross
10. As I Pull the Trigger
Matti Kärki Vocals
David Blomqvist Guitar
Richard Cabeza Bass
Fred Estby Drums
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