Iron Fire - On The Edge
Noise Records
Power Metal ?
12 songs (47'10)
Release year: 2001
Official website, Noise Records
Reviewed by Chris

Iron Fire are back after their sensational first album Thunderstorm. I've put all my hopes for 2001 in this new album, and I can't now tell you that Iron Fire is already my biggest disappointement for this year. I don't know what happened and why they chosed that direction. The new album has almost nothing to do with their precedent work Thunderstorm, which was an atomic bomb and already a classic within my all time albums.

Iron Fire prepares us mentally though with a song called The End Of It All as a starter. What can I say... that's exactly how it feels... the end of perfect true metal like they delivered in Thunderstorm. If like me you loved that album then you can skip to the next review, cause you won't find that sound here anymore. Is it the line-up changes ? After all Iron Fire have changed one guitar player and the drummer... that could probably explain the changes in the sound... but Martin Steene is still writing everything within the band. I can't understand why this album is changing so radically from the spirit of their music... its no longer True Metal... but more Heavy-Metal with Rock and Black elements. I maybe exagerate a little bit about the black elements, but let me tell you that the new dark vocals on the already not inspired flat chorus line of the new titles is simply unnacceptable, at least not for Iron Fire music.

The guitars are more Rock'N'Roll and so is the overall sound. The atmosphere is dark, too dark for Iron Fire if you ask me, and although bands like Helloween can sweep a Dark Ride out of their pocket I really think that it's too soon for this band to start jerking around like that. If I'm not mistaken, the first album have been a big success, so why the hell change everything and turn to the dark side ? ... well, maybe like master Yoda said :"not stronger is the dark side, easier it is" . So you can kiss the heavenly inspired guitar riffs and melodies goodbye, these have totally disappeared to let place to easy, square heavy-metal riffs like everyone have heard too many times now. Forget the metal hymns, instead welcome the dark atmosphere of the ridiculous dark vocals "a la black metal" and electronic elements in the background that don't do any good to help the overall sound neither.

Some songs are okay and you can find some good melodies then and there and also some good moments... But this sudden turn to the dark side is pissing the hell out of me and Iron Fire have made a huge mistake I think. I'm pretty sure the fans will be very upset about this new album, just like me. It's not enough to put a 2 bucks little melody a la Running Wild in the beginning of the song if you're going to make a song that is dark and black within it's atmosphere... plus it might get extremely ridiculous, like in Forever Evil, with the happy melody on the start and the ridiculous dark voice in the chorus (enough's enough !)... the worse is that they try to add Rock elements in this more than already messy poor excuse for Heavy-Metal !!! Like the vocals... with oh-woooo or ye-yeeeh... every 3 sentences.

There's maybe 2 or maybe 3 good songs in the album... it hurts, when you know that Thunderstorm had only killer songs (except the awful Running Wild cover of Under Jolly Roger maybe). I don't know what and why Iron Fire changed... but I'm very sad they did. Although they might not be categorized as Hammerfall copycats anymore, they certainly play an easy and not enjoyable music now. During my first spins I must admit that I nearly threw the CD out the window like I did with the last Malmsteen. But after 10 spins I've acknowloedge the fact that some songs were growing in me slowly... and I could almost still feel some Iron Fire soul in these songs... so maybe there's hope. Like I said there are some good moments, but they're almost instantly erased by errors in style, by mixing too many things that were not supposed to be here in the first place.

In any case, Iron Fire can thank Tommy Hansen, cause he fucking saved the day. His production is the only thing that saved that album. It's very strange to copy everything from Hammerfall to start with. Thunderstorm was 100% into Hammerfall sound & feel, right down to the artcover that was a pale copy of Glory To The Brave's excellent Marshall illustration. Then you ask Marshall to make your artcover for the second album, but you change everything your music stood for ??!? So okay, maybe the band didn't want to hear copycat remarks anymore, I certainly didn't give a fuck about the resemblance with Hammerfall, as long as the spirit was there, as long as the music was shaking my heart and my soul. But then why trying to imitate Bon Jovi like on Lost'N'Alone or Miracle...cause that's REALLY pathetic ! By the way, that's good that they believe in Miracles like the song says.... cause they're gonna need one to sell this "On The Edge" (of a huge fall !).

Well... I've lost enough time and energy with this pathetic excuse for a second album... I'm very hard here because I love this band... well, loved it anyway. If that was their first album it would probably get a better quote, but for a second one, after a killer debut album like Thunderstorm, I don't think they deserve more, and I'm maybe even too generous here. My brother once told me that it's with a second album that you prove if you're a good band or not. I guess he was right, and when many bands have confirmed their worthyness, Iron Fire have just crashed in flames ! True Metal fans or fans of the first album : avoid at all cost !!! There are some good moments in this album, even if only a few, they make me want to go with a lip of faith... and hope that if there is a third album : it's gonna be nothing like this one.

Killing Songs :
Killing ? you got to be joking, it really is The End Of It All !
Chris quoted 58 / 100
Other albums by Iron Fire that we have reviewed:
Iron Fire - Beyond the Void reviewed by Andy and quoted 82 / 100
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
To see all 9 reviews click here
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