Iron Fire - Blade Of Triumph
Napalm Records
Power Metal
11 songs (54'44)
Release year: 2007
Official website, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Chris

Heavy Power Metallers Iron Fire are back witht their fourth offering, Blade of Triumph. I discovered Iron Fire through Noise's "Be your own metal label" thingy back in the days, and Iron Fire had won the competition, shortly after they realesed one of the best Melodic Power / Speed Metal albums of all time, their debut Thunderstorm. Thunderstorm is an album I can't get enough of, but in contrast the band second album was a real catastrophe (imho), it actually cost them their label at the time. But last year they re-emerged with their third offering, Revenge, a great quality release, even though not to Thunderstorm's level, was a quite pleasant surprise, so here we are a bit more than a year with the band's fourth album.

I was surprised to see this album be released so quickly, and feared the band might have rushed it out. So it was with a bit of apprehension that I approached this CD. The album opener song, Dragonheart quickly put my fears to rest, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Iron Fire is slowly getting back to their debut's style of songwriting, delivering epic tales worthy of the name Iron Fire. Dragonheart is the Thunderstorm (the song) from the debut, the kind of song you get hooked from the first listen and that stays carved into your memory. The atypical vocals of Martin Steene are better than ever and the majestical guitars are guiding this song to victory. Awesome opener, and my favorite track of the album. Bloodbath of Knights, the second track, starts more heavier than the usual Iron Fire songs, with an awesome calm classic guitar driven verse, evolving to a more agressive bridge and simple yet effective chorus. Not a very melodic song chorus wise, but still very enjoyable. The third song, Dawn Of Victory, is a also starts heavy on the rhythm section, with square repetitive riffing until the melodic voice of Martin kick's in. I must point out that Martin has a very atypical vocal for a Power Metal band, and its a kind of love it or hate it deal, in my case I simply love it. Dawn Of Victory is a typical mid-tempo song, with choirs in the chorus. A good song but one I would have put later in the disc. The fourth song, Lord Of The Labyrinth is again a mid-tempo, and while its a good song with some awesome moments (bridge), and a more than decent chorus, I still feel the order on which the tracks is presented is wrong. The album starts with a punch in the face fast song and then you get 3 slower paced songs and that can only attenuate the listeners exitement. Finally when I reach track 5, the fast and furiousness than Iron Fire can (and should always) be is back and it ups the ante. Bridges Will Burn is a fast track, with a good structure, great vocal melodies and a great chorus. This should undeniably have been the second track of the album. Time for another mid-tempo, Follow the Sign start like a nice and emotional ballad thanks to its vocal and classic guitar parts and then evolves into something a bit heavier, with great melodic guitars in the bridge leading to a nice almost hard FM type of chorus. The song has a really nice guitar solo, melodic yet technical. Number 7 is my favoirte number, and thank god the drums are shaking the earth and the furious guitar is frenetically driving this song, Steel Invaders is a fast paced song that while quite typical (and a tad silly lyric-wise) tune that I'm sure will work very well when played in front of the crowd ("Raise your metal fist in the air" yay :) !). The last four songs are all pretty good (Gladiator's Path being a very interesting song with a different sound than what the bands usually does), but I can't but feel that this band can deliver something much more than the typical release than Blade of Triumph is. The last song, the epic 7+ minute named after the album : Blade Of Triumph is a great song and a nice way to close the album, its actually the third best song on the disc. As it was the case with Revenge the cover artwork for Blade Of Triumph is really awesome.

Overall there is little surprise in this album, its a tad inferior than last year's offering, except maybe for Martin's vocals, as he definitely is at the top of his game vocalwise. The problem is that the album seems to be a great collection of good yet filler-like songs (when compared to what Iron Fire have delivered in the past), and in the end the album is one I will put aside and probably only listen to my two favorite songs of the album. So while the songs are very well produced, written and presented in a nice fashion (except maybe for the track order), I can't shake the feeling that the album is a rush release, to quickly re-establish a presence after the long wait in between the second and third album. Its a good album for a new band, but for Iron Fire its sub-standard in my opinion. The one good thing is that the band displays moment of greatness on this album, and I really hope that the band can get back to the level of their debut, but such masterpiece will be VERY hard to top. There isn't a single second that doesn't kill on Thunderstom, while here you have to wait in between medium to good songs to listen these almost perfect moments. I believe Iron Fire is now mature enough to be able to write better more epic and soul lifting songs, and I will be on the lookout for the next album. I really hope with all my heart it will be a better release with more (if not only) killer songs. If you don't know Iron Fire, then I would recommend you listen to their amazing debut album Thunderstorm, if you can't get your hands on it, then Revenge from last year is also a great album to get into the band's sound.

Killing Songs :
Dragonheart, Bridges Will Burn & Blade Of Triumph.
Chris quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Iron Fire that we have reviewed:
Iron Fire - Among the Dead reviewed by Chris and quoted 84 / 100
Iron Fire - Voyage of the Damned reviewed by Chris and quoted 85 / 100
Iron Fire - Metalmorphosized reviewed by Jake and quoted 55 / 100
Iron Fire - To The Grave reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
Iron Fire - Revenge reviewed by Mike and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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