Black as Death

Black as Death

by Iron Mask


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A band in name only, Brussels' Iron Mask is really the brainchild of guitarist Dushan Petrossi, but despite recurring turnover in his supporting roles and frequent contributions from whichever gun-for-hire strikes Petrossi's fancy, 2011's Black as Death sounds pretty cohesive from start to finish. As well it should, given this is Iron Mask's fourth album of the decade and no amount of rotating musical chairs can upset the focus of Petrossi's neoclassical power metal vision -- not least while paying unabashed tribute to key inspiration Yngwie Malmsteen. Yes, that is in fact one-time Rising Force singer Mark Boals (a man with the voice of an angel and the stage presence of a turnip) swapping microphones with latter-day successor Göran Edman, so it should surprise no one that the pomp metal nugget of a title cut, the turbo-charged "Feel the Fire," and the innocently direct "Rebel Kid" (yes, lyrics range all over the bloody map here) should sound like Trilogy updates for the new millennium. They all make for great, nostalgic '80s metal fodder, too, yet are not exactly bursting with surprises -- but then, who needs surprises when the unexpected faux-Mongolian lutes introducing "Genghis Khan" eventually give way to the dullest, most one-dimensional metal dirge imaginable? Better to stay closer to home with the necessary ballad "Magic Sky Requiem" or the classically inspired "God Punishes, I Kill," which belies its Manowar-like title with expertly orchestrated band arrangements and backing choirs. Endlessly predictable ideas and occasional misfires (see the eye-rolling "Nosferatu") notwithstanding, though, Black as Death makes for a continually enjoyable listen, by and large, all the way through to memorable closer, "Evil Strikes in Silence," and it certainly boasts more diversity than the average power metal release, come to think of.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/14/2012
Label: Afm Records
UPC: 0884860051026
catalogNumber: 3862

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Iron Mask   Primary Artist
Goran Edman   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Mats Olausson   Keyboards,Group Member
Mark Boals   Vocals,Group Member
Oliver Hartmann   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Vassili Moltchanov   Bass,Group Member
Dushan Petrossi   Guitar,Group Member
Roma Siadletski   Vocals,Background Vocals,Group Member
Ramy Ali   Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Goran Edman   Vocal Engineer
Mats Olausson   Engineer
Mark Boals   Engineer
Thomas Ewerhard   Layout
Dennis Ward   Drum Engineering
Dushan Petrossi   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Concept

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