Release Date – September 8th 2023
Ironflame comes streaking out of Martins Ferry, Ohio and the band’s beating heart is Andrew D’Cagna who literally does everything. This release is a compilation of rare bonus cuts only found on European issues plus a few songs that have never seen the light of day. Not really being familiar with the previous output I cannot comment.
‘Vision In Flames’ gets right to it with a speed metal beat, a fast-chugging riff and masculine vocals. The guitar melody line is straight out of any European power metal band. It’s Iron Maiden time on ‘Temple Of Sorrow’ with a melodic twin guitar line over a solid rhythm and some powerful Dickinson-like vocals. Maiden comes to mind on ‘Masters And Slaves’ as it trots along at mid-pace then things attempt to go epic on the equally mid-paced ‘Across The Seas Of Time’.
‘Queen Of Thorns’ has some tasty leads in the introduction and has D’Cagna singing in a lower edgier register which is a welcome change before more guitar work starts ‘Wolfen’ which gallops along before the darker ‘Equinox’ leads to the chugging ‘Midnight Falls’ which has an understated vocal melody line. ‘Storm Crusher’ is straight out of the NWOBHM and is bound to get your head banging. The final cut is an acoustic take on ‘Marching On’ which was originally on ‘Lightning Strikes The Crown’ and had D’Cagna showing another side of his voice very much like Ronnie James Dio.
This is definitely for fans of early/mid-period Iron Maiden and Helloween etc. Loads of chugging riffs, twin guitar harmonies and leads, double kick drums and vocals that could shatter your best-cut crystal. I don’t know what D’Cagna hopes to achieve with this release. It’s ok but it doesn’t really offer anything you haven’t heard before and none of the tracks stand out as being special. It’s basically good solid meat and potatoes with heavy metal.
Track List –
1 – Vision In Flames
2 – Temple Of Sorrow
3 – Masters And Slaves
4 – Across The Seas Of Time
5 – Queen Of Thorns
6 – Wolfen
7 – Equinox
8 – Midnight Falls
9 – Storm Crusher
10 – Marching On (Acoustic version)