Ironbound - The Lightbringer
Self Release
Heavy Metal/NWOBHM
9 songs (46' 16")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Andy

Though they started in 2014, Polish heavy metal newcomers Ironbound have released their debut LP this year. It's not a bad start; I'm not smitten with Lukasz Krauze's voice, which is a trifle thin, but the band can definitely knock out some decent NWOBHM-style songs.

After the intro, Witch Hunt is the first track, a high-speed hammerer that sets a good pace for the rest of the album. The guitars are gruff and heavy on the overdrive, and the band is happy to shred solos rather than merely concentrating on the riffs -- Children Left By God is especially indulgent. The band's late Maiden template, with the bass front and center and plenty of guitar galloping, certainly isn't the worst approach here.

The biggest flaw? Krauze is no Bruce Dickinson. His vocals are thin and a little nasal; any part of a song that relies on him to belt out a chorus gets a let-down fast. Songs like The Turn of the Tide, which would otherwise be as lugubrious as any post-Bruce song in the catalog of Ironbound's biggest influence, are saved from mediocrity by their fine dual-guitar work. The band's musicianship makes up for the heavy reliance on their predecessors; though we know where we've heard this kind of thing before by the time Beyond the Horizon, an instrumental that is the last song on the album, starts up, it's brilliantly executed and shows off Michal Halamoda and Krzysztof Calka's substantial guitar chops. Ironbound doesn't really have a voice of its own yet, it's clear, but their technical abilities are promising.


Killing Songs :
The Witch Hunt, Beyond the Horizon
Andy quoted 80 / 100
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