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Iron Angel
Winds of War
October 2003
Released: 1986, Steamhammer
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Night of the Realm

Like your speed metal? Damn right you do. Then why haven’t you checked out Iron Angel’s second and final album, WINDS OF WAR.

One of the finest German bands from the 80s, Iron Angel create a sound drawing influences of speed metal from Running Wild, raucous true metal like Accept, and, of course, some speed-thrash from early Destruction. WINDS OF WAR is more melodic, features more power-trad. influences on top of an excellent speed metal base, and also has a cleaner, less raw production. than the debut HELLISH CROSSFIRE.

The songwriting on the album, however, is not diminished in the least on WINDS OF WAR. Axemen Sven Strüven and Peter Wittke are as fine a duo as any guitar team playing this style. They are not quite up to par with the legendary teams of Tipton/Downing or Murray/Smith, but damned if they can’t lay down some punchy, catchy riffs and no shortage of kickass solos.

“Metalstorm” is the first actual track on the album, which would sound right at home on HELLISH CROSSFIRE. “Son of a Bitch” has an almost glam-ish melodic intro, and although it drops back a bit on speed, it makes up with plenty of catchy hooks. “Vicious” is everything its name implies, perhaps the fastest and heaviest song on the album. The mix on this song, and the rest of the album is dead-on: the production strikes a fine balance that is raw and natural enough, but with every instrument clear and audible. “Born to Rock” must have certainly been a concert hit, with an instant crowd-participation chorus. As if that isn’t enough, the Priest-ish “Fight for Your Life,” is next, followed by my favourite song on the album, “Stronger than Steel,” with its fucking awesome extended solos starting at 3:33. The last two tracks (track 10 is an outro) carry on in the same fashion, solid headbanging speed metal, though it is not *quite* as strong as the first seven tracks.

Also included on the Old Metal Records reissue of this album are 4 tracks taken from the band’s live performance in Germany, 1985. Although the recording is of poor quality, it is interesting to hear the band in its rawest form. I urge all metalheads to check out WINDS OF WAR. After 17 years, it’s still a speed metal classic.
Track Listing

1. Winds Of War
2. Metalstorm
3. Son Of A Bitch
4. Vicious
5. Born To Rock
6. Fight For Your Life
7. Stronger Than Steel
8. Sea Of Flames
9. Creatures Of Destruction
10. Back To The Silence
Bonus – Live in Germany, 1985:
11. The Metallian
12. Sinner 666
13. Black Mass
14. The Church of Lost Souls


Dirk Schröder - Vocals
Mike Matthes - Drums
Thorsten Lohman - Bass
Sven Strüven - Guitar
Peter Wittke - Guitar

Other reviews

» Winds of War
by Night of the Realm

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