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Released: 2000, Noise Records
IronFall...er....HammerFire...oops, I mean Iron Fire's debut CD is all that any fan of HammerFall, Nocturnal Rites or Helloween could want. Although Denmark is not known as metal central (with the exception of Mercyful Fate), it sure has produced a fine band and a fine CD - "Thunderstorm." After hearing the power of this band, especially with the intense drumming, you'll agree that this is an apt title! You can expect melodic, high clear vocals, biting guitars, thundering kick drums...this CD has all the elements that fans of power metal LOVE! I probably shouldn't be to harsh on these guys in comparing them to HammerFall, even if their cover art also reminds me of the cover for "Glory To The Brave." Like both Nocturnal Rites and HammerFall this band's beginnings were also in the Death/Black metal realms (Ed.Note: check out Oscar Dronjak's pre-HammerFall band Crystal Age for proof). Comparison's aside, this band is GREAT! One thing that is pretty mind-blowing is that all these guys are in their late-teens! The oldest of the lot is only 20!
From the opening notes of the CD with "The Final Crusade" it was clear that I was going to love this CD. This is not something that takes a fan of power metal repeated listens to grasp or freak out over. I was immediately grinning that METAL grin and waving the sign of metal high after the first 15 seconds of the first track. Songs of war and warriors, steel and swords, battles and kings, dragons and rainbows and of course one track hailing the glory of metal - "Metal Victory" - "The troops of steel have heard the call. The power of metal will never die." That might sound corny to some, but truer words could not be spoken. METAL WILL NEVER DIE, and for that we have bands like Iron Fire to thank!!!! Bands that are playing TRUE metal and keeping metal pure are always refreshing to hear. It's way too hard for me to try and point out my favorite tracks on this CD as 95% of it is pure metal played with conviction and talent. The only track that I do not like is "Angel of Light" - it's just hideous! It stands out on the CD like a sore thumb. It's a ballad, and not even a good one as a result of the harmonica on there. Harmonica's have no just place in power metal and for that matter in metal period, unless it's some blues based hard rock/metal band. But I can forgive one crappy song out of 12. The other 11 tracks are all excellent! The sound quality of the CD is top notch. We can thank the mastery of Tommy Hansen from Jailhouse Studios for the result. You've probably heard his name from the Helloween recordings "Keeper of the seven Keys" (parts 1 and 2), "Master of the Rings" and "Time of the Oath."
This CD will be stuck in my CD player for quite some time. "Brothers of true metal ride"....to the bloody CD store and demand a copy of Iron Fire's debut CD today!
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