Iron Mask - Revenge Is My Name

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC2229 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:46:00

Iron Mask is an extension of the Belgian power metal band Magic Kingdom and features guitarist Dushan Petrossi (no, I'd never heard of him either). Since Magic Kingdom had problems with their previous record label, the second album was never released and thus Lion Music signed Dushan to a new project - Iron Mask - and Revenge Is My Name is their debut album.

Musically, Iron Mask are wonderful, if slightly [make that heavily - Ed (PPO)] influenced by a certain famous guitarist in Yngwie Malmsteen. So, they play a mix of hard rock, neo-classical metal, and power metal with a concept based around the book The Man In The Iron Mask by Alexander Dumas. Dushan has classical and virtuoso influences with electric guitar interpretations of Handel's "Overture" and electric influences from such wizards as Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Romeo, Michael Schenker, and Gary Moore. Whilst we've heard this style before, and quite a lot recently, there are better bands out there - like Time Requiem for example. To go with the self-satisfying nature of the guitars there's plenty of virtuoso keyboards here too courtesy of Youri Degroote. Overall, though, this album is let down by the annoying vocals of Phil Letaw (ex-Cryme) who is just a bit too boring for the more exciting music. This is unfortunate because this CD could have gone from good to GREAT with the right vocalist. There are a couple of numbers that showcase his voice (and the band's musical combinations) and they are "March Of Victory" (think late 80s, early 90s Malmsteen) and the straight-laced "Hold The Light" (of whom the vocals are sung by one Max Leclerq). Phil has some good notes but he has less control at times and little range. And when he is out of range, you can just hear the rest of the band trying to swallow him up with some outstanding musicianship.

The instrumentals - and there are 4 of them on here - is where the album excels ("Morgana's Castle" and "Secret Tunnel Of The King" in particular). Iron Mask don't shy away from writing heavy songs that one would normally find in a power metal band either, and it is this mix that makes the album more respectable.

An irrelevant question for you all. Why do all neo-classical [you mean ego-centric don't you? - Ed (PPO)] guitarists have to all look like Yngwie Malmsteen? Maybe buying a guitar comes with a doughnut kit, large pants, and a freakish hair package.

So, in conclusion, Iron Mask is good. At times it is also heavy. Not forgetting clever and bizarre. It just lacks consistency in the song-writing and a better vocalist. If you like the opening songs and what you hear of the vocalist, then you are going to like this.

Similar artists: Yngwie, Symphony X, Dio

[This review originally appeared March 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Enemy Brother Overture (0:57) / Revenge Is My Name (4:42) / March Of Victory (5:12) / The Witch Burner (4:51) / Alian Pharao (5:06) / Dimension X (0:50) / Morgana's Castle (5:11) / You Are My Blood (5:13) / The Wolf And The Beast (8:13) / Secret Tunnel Of The King (2:47) / Hold The Light (4:47) / Warchild Requiem (2:51)

Dushan Petrossi - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, timpani
Youri Degroote - keyboards, piano, harpsichord, backing vocals; 1st lead vocal and demon's voice (9); voice from space (6)
Phil Letawe - vocals
Vassili Moltchanov - bass, flute
Max LeClerq - vocals (11)
Marie-Carmen Mendez - violin
Andrew Martin - clarinet
Paul Lemoine - contra bass
Michel Rossi - conductor, Orchestra Belga
Ramual Siadletski, Madi Hoffman, Sonia Algar, Lili Petrovski - backing vocals
Peter Dierickx - drums
Anton Arkhipov - drums
Guillaume Bideau - backing vocals (12)
Aymeric Ribot - keyboards (12)
Sumer T David - backing vocals

Revenge Is My Name (2002)
Hordes Of The Brave (2005)
Shadow Of The Red Baron (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin BE

Added: December 19th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1279
Language: english


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