IRON KINGDOM – The Blood Of Creation (2022)
At first glance, we weren’t too much seduced by the band’s name IRON KINGDOM, and even less by the cover art of their upcoming album “The Blood Of Creation“. History repeats… never judge an album for its cover. Next we see IRON KINGDOM hails from Canada, and things get a new expectation, and gets better when we press play and hear classic, traditional ’80s metal very, very well done.
Formed in Surrey, B.C. Canada in 2011, IRON KINGDOM’s music is inspired by legendary pillars of heavy metal such as Judas Priest, The Scorpions, Iron Maiden and Rush, creating intricate musical melodies that bring listeners back to a time when real heavy metal was in its prime.
This is a band with 6 albums under their belt, all self-managed. It is truly a shame that IRON KINGDOM have not rose to prominence among other bands of their age, yet I do believe that this is for a good reason: rise to mainstream means eventually you wither and die.
Opener ‘Tides Of Desolation’ is minute plus instrumental that leads into the metal blast of ‘Sheathe The Sword’ before the mid-tempo NWOBHM worship of ‘Queen Of The Crystal Throne’ which has some excellent guitar work weaving around Chris Osterman’s powerful high pitched howl.
‘Hunter And Prey’ is pure rapid metal this tiem with an Euro feel like Helloween and tells the tale the tale of a Finnish farmer/sniper who had over 500 confirmed kills during a war with Russia.
‘Witching Hour’ is a fine galloping romp ala Maiden with a touch of Sabbath along the way before ‘In The Grip Of Nightmares’ goes almost prog metal with some excellent melodies and superb axework from Osterman and the band’s other guitarist, female Megan Merrick.
Then instrumental ‘Primordial’ brings more NWOBHM into the mix with some fine guitar lines and a galloping rhythm from Leighton Holmes (Bass) and Max Friesen (Drums).
Kinda a Maiden theme is developed on the fabulous 13 minute-plus title track ‘The Blood Of Creation’ and as you would expect its chock full of riffs, solo’s and melodies through different passages.
Only 8 tracks but boy do they cram it all in. Loads of riffs and melodies some excellent lead breaks and pounding rhythms. This is bonafide, foot on the monitor, fist pumping, horn throwing real metal.
We never heard Iron Kingdom before but on the strength of this I will be obtaining the back catalogue very soon. I can’t say they’re doing anything new but what they do is superb, and this release really will take them to the next level.
IRON KINGDOM have been around for more than a decade, this is their sixth release, which means that they have already carved their path. And this path is one that I would be happy to tread.
01 – Tides of Desolation
02 – Sheathe the Sword
03 – Queen of the Crystal Throne
04 – Hunter and Prey
05 – Witching Hour
06 – In the Grip of Nightmares
07 – Primordial
08 – The Blood of Creation
Chris Osterman – Lead Guitar / Lead Vocals
Megan Merrick – Lead Guitar
Leighton Holmes – Bass
Max Friesen – Drums