Released: 2012, StormSpell Records
IRON AGE is a strong candidate for album cover of the century. It is the most ‘Metal’ album art I have seen in a long, long time. This young band of metallions from Kanas have nailed it. ‘It’ being the true Metal style and sound. The albums starts with an awesome spoken-word intro with sound effects of thunder, lightning and a pounding blacksmith’s hammer forging what can only be a sword of the purest Metal. I wish more bands had spoken-word introductions, they rule the wasteland.
StormSpell Records is on the ball with another deluxe package, a 10 page booklet good art, full lyrics and the uncensored cover of the mermaid in all her glory. The production has a classic feel not too bass heavy and the guitar tone is solid as well. The CD comes with an OBI strip that compares the band to Manowar, and Helstar,, which are apt comparisons, but they also say ‘early Domine’ but I don’t hear as much of the smooth and speedy Euro influence. No matter.
A mighty scream opens the first proper song, the title track, ‘Iron Age’. Vocalist Brett Blackout is not perhaps the most classical trained vocalist but he has so much spirit and energy in his delivery that the lack of pure technical skill is irrelevant. He sounds Metal as hell! These guys have really captured a good 80’s vibe and with galloping lines and riffs that would make Tokyo Blade proud. The lyrics tell tales of all things steel, swords, dragons, blades, and more steel. The band is a bit more adventurous with their song-writing, with many of the songs running into the six minute range but not really progressive, just lots of intros and good riffs and solos, they will take a good idea and run with it. The album is a compact 8 songs and 45 minutes but listen for hidden bonus track, which I believe is called ‘Screaming Metal Deathtrap’ a song about cars, cops and going fast.
IRON AGE is a very promising debut and although some cynics and critics might suggest that they are ‘retro’ or have little new to offer, I personally don’t care. Why do they have be unfairly labeled as ‘retro’ can’t they just be labeled kick-ass metal? Watch for their new album that (as time of writing) is slated to be called RAGE OF THE GODS and should be out in late 2014. Until then, get on the bandwagon of Vanlade, buy the debut, IRON AGE and then you can rightfully claim you were an ‘original’ fan before they get much bigger!