Released: 2008, Shadow Kingdom Records
Finally, after a long four year wait, underground metal heroes Ironsword have returned! The Portuguese lords had been disturbingly quiet since caving skulls with the one-two punch of IRONSWORD and RETURN OF THE WARRIOR. Now they’re back to cleave skulls and reclaim their throne, armed with their most powerful album yet.
As if no time has passed, “Death of the Gods” heralds the return to barbarian days, as only Ironsword can. It’s immediately noticeable that the band has taken steps to improve their sound this time out. While the traditional metal style remains as before, the production is light years improved from past albums. It’s as gritty as ever, but with more power and clarity to propel the songs forward. Mind you, one listen to the driving title track confirms that the band doesn’t actually NEED any help gathering momentum.
It’s impossible to pick favourites from these 13 songs – there are no bad songs here! While the more urgent songs like the title track and “Fear the Night” are instantly memorable, others like the slower building “Dark Shadows of Stygia” reveal their delights after repeated listens. Even the closing ballad, “Pyre of Kings” does not disappoint, proving that even barbarians have a soft side. And for extra underground cred – Manilla Road’s Mark Shelton lends his guest pipes to several songs.
Simply put, there are few albums that can touch OVERLORDS OF CHAOS this year. The Ironsword legend continues to grow...