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Iron Mask is the perfect blend of neoclassical, melodic and
Nikiforos V. Skoumas | Athens Greece, Cambridge UK | 01/19/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Iron Mask is the project of guitarist Dushan Petrossi and "Shadow of the red baron" is their latest release and overall 3rd studio album. Although "Iron mask" brings together a good number of influences and styles (which we will be looking into), they are generally based on neoclassical metal."...Red baron" is a surprisingly strong/colorful album which offers a very good amount of memorable songs.
In terms of composition structure the album features equal amounts of neoclassical power metal tracks and melodic 80s-influenced catchy hard rockers (the same approach that Firewind followed on "The Premonition"). The best example of the first category is the title track whose fast pace, huge chorus and sky battle lyrics forces one to think of "Primal Fear". On the other hand "Forever in the Dark" is an equally good display of the album's melodic hard rock/metal side; plus there is a super catchy, almost party metal, anthem on this release in "Sahara".
This collection of diverse elements is mainly due to the impressive qualifications of the musicians involved; master mind Dushan, lays a good variety of neoclassical scales and shredding solos a la Malmsteen effortlessly, while also contributing simple but infectious guitar melodies (in the style of Magnus Karlsson)plus twin guitar harmonics (in "Primal Fear" fashion). Lead singer Goetz Mohre is proven an extremely appropriate choice sounding precisely like Graham Bonnet and Stephen Frederick (on the power metal tunes). The line up is completed by bassist Vassili Moltchanov, keyboardist Andreas Lindahl and the furious Erik Stout on drums.
The compositions are worked to perfection on "...Red Baron" but what keeps me playing the album over and over is the fact that the musicians here have combined styles and attributes of bands like "Alcatraz", "Primal Fear", "Firewind" and "Virtuocity" (all personal favourites) into a super cohesive release.
Personal favourites also include "We will meet again", "Only the good die young" and "Resurrection".
If you are fan of neoclassical power metal this is a must. If you are a fan of the bands mentioned above you need to get this; apart from the superb songs you will probably find yourself spending a good amount of time on an album that utilizes the accumulated characteristics and techniques of the melodic/neoclassical/power metal styles.