Album Review – Iron Knights / Iron Knights (2014)

Behold the Iron Knights, as they’re ready to rock.

Rating4

coverFinally after almost two years since their debut album, and especially after some huge lineup changes (only bassist Paul “Beam” Robbie and drummer Lawrence “Larry” Paterson remain from the original lineup), British Heavy Metal warriors Iron Knights are back with a new release, the excellent self-titled album Iron Knights, which will surely please all fans of that raw “old school” heavy music from the 80’s.

If someone asks me to summarize the music from the new and invigorated Iron Knights, who by the way ditched their pseudonyms a while ago and have been using their actual names since then, I would say it’s pure Heavy Metal created by the fusion of hot metal blood from New Zealand with an absolute passion for heavy music from the UK. All band members sound totally fired up and excited, which translates into great music full of stamina, and in my opinion the addition of British singer and guitarist Jamie Gibson (ex-Possession) was crucial for their new “formula” to actually work. As Mr. Larry Paterson stated in his interview to this webzine a couple of months ago, “The new stuff coming out is sounding really strong to my ears and I can’t wait to get it on the road.”

We can say Larry was absolutely right in his statement as soon as we hit “play” and the amazing opening track, Transparent, fills our ears with pure Heavy Metal:  a very traditional intro, extremely heavy riffs, pounding drums, some Thrash Metal elements from bands such as Anthrax, and an awesome chorus that will work perfectly live with the fans screaming “I SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU!” with the band, are the perfect mix for inflaming the listener and making him start headbanging like hell. And the band keeps on rockin’ with Falling from Grace, with its Southern Metal riff, lots of groove and a very pleasant melody, and the 80’s Thrash Metal sonority from Vicious Circle, with highlights to the great vocals by Jamie Gibson on top of all the shredding and fast beats.

The next track, a ballad named A Chapter’s Lesion, might not be bad but it sounds a little generic, maybe showing the band should stick to the heavier and faster music from the first three songs, which is proven in Genocide, with its very traditional heavy sonority full of interesting riffs, guitar solos and especially the breaks halfway through the song. Then we have the good Cry for Help, with its intro and riffs a little similar to Iron Maiden’s classic “Flight of Icarus”, where it’s clear how much the band members put their hearts and souls into this album. Moreover, I could see this song being played a lot at most Rock N’ Roll radios in North America if the band had signed with a major record label.

IronKnightsAlthough the last two original tracks in Iron Knights might be completely different in terms of speed and violence, they are truly awesome and achieve their purpose almost flawlessly: I’m pretty sure Mr. Larry Paterson loves to play what is the best song of the album for me, Blind, a fast, heavy and furious mix of Heavy and Thrash Metal with a magnificent chorus; while Jacob’s Ladder, the second ballad of the album, is a lot better than the first one due to all the emotion in it, and besides, it gets a lot heavier after 3 minutes, ending the album in a very energetic way.

Last but not least, in regards to the bonus tracks (all re-recordings of some songs from their 2012 album New Sound of War), they’re all very powerful and perfect for hitting the road, especially the amazing Jericho. The only thing I didn’t understand in the album is the absence of the awesome single “Destroyer”. What the hell happened to it? I thought it was going to be part of the album for sure. Anyway, I downloaded it a while ago and will simply add it to my album folder as an “additional” bonus track.

And after Iron Knights (which can be purchased at the band’s official online shop) is over, you’ll probably grab another beer, hit “play” again and enjoy this great traditional Heavy Metal album one more time, because that’s how things should be when the music in question is not only good, but also potent and rightful. So behold the Iron Knights, as those guys are ready to rock and keep the fire of Heavy Metal alive, hopefully for many years to come.

Best moments of the album: Transparent, Vicious Circle, Blind and Jacob’s Ladder.

Worst moments of the album: A Chapter’s Lesion.

Released in 2014 Metalbox Recordings

Track listing
1. Transparent 5:05
2. Falling from Grace 3:41
3. Vicious Circle 3:47
4. A Chapter’s Lesion 4:20
5. Genocide 4:00
6. Cry for Help 4:42
7. Blind 3:21
8. Jacob’s Ladder 4:39

Bonus tracks (re-recorded from New Sound of War)
9. Bloodstorm 3:54
10. The Messenger 4:33
11. Jericho 4:21

Band members
Jamie Gibson – vocals, guitars
Wayne Mann – guitars
Paul “Beam” Robbie – bass
Lawrence “Larry” Paterson – drums

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