Iron Kingdom is a heavy metal band from Canada, focused solely on the vintage sound of the seventies and eighties. This tradition is honoured, not only in the music but also in the band logo and artwork. Every single thing about this album breathes 'classic heavy metal' in the vein of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Blind Guardian. 'Ride For Glory' is their third album and it's completely dedicated to warriors allover the world and throughout history.
The album opens with an instrumental intro and immediately comes up with those classic riffs, drums and solos. Flashing guitars, vigorous drums and a high pitched voice truly bring back the epic sound of the eighties. From there on the band rages on through past wars with exhilarating guitar play and a very strong rhythm section. This makes a song like 'Leif Erikson' (an Icelandic explorer, considered by some as the first European to land in North America, 500 years before Christopher Columbus) a highly convincing anthem.
'Night Attack' and closer 'The Veiled Knight' all have the same epic atmosphere of conquest and victory as 'Leif Erikson'. Not only because these are the longest tracks but mainly because of the vigorous (twin) guitar sound and the almost militant bombast which they seem to possess. For that reason, these songs remind me most of Iron Maiden's hitsongs like 'Fear Of The Dark' and several others. But as good as a guitarist can be, he will still need solid rhythm guitar and bass players to complete his sound. Luckily for Iron Kingdom all the musicians know exactly what to do in order to create a magnificent sound and touch of greatness.
But Iron Kingdom is definitely not a Maiden-clone. They clearly found their own niche, incorporating more complex drums, mainly in songs like 'Lady Trieu And The Kingdom Of Wu' or 'A Call To Arms'. Other nice additions are the occasional sounds of swordfights and some other battle sounds. These make the album concept complete and quite impressive. The vocals add a lot to these, sounding like a blend of Bon Scott (AC/DC), Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Andi Deris (Helloween).
So in all,' Ride To Glory' is an excellent heavy metal album that can stand next to some albums by the bands I mentioned in this review. I'm not sure if this will one day become a classic in the genre but it's a decent business card to earn a spot on the summer festivals. If Iron Kingdom is as convincing on stage as on CD/LP/Digital, I see a pretty awesome future for these Canadians. So heavy metal fans, check this out. This is a tremendous throwback into the (first) golden age of metal.