Iron Mask-Black As Death
Iron Mask is a side project for Magic Kingdom guitarist Dushan Petrossi. It seems to a band in name only though as from all accounts Petrossi alone is the driving force for this neo-classical hard rock band. Iron Mask was formed back in 1998 by the Belgium guitarist and for this album at least the line-up also includes Mark Boals (Holy Force, The Codex, ex-Royal Hunt, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, etc.) and Roma Siadletski (Magic Kingdom) on vocals, Vassili Moltchanov (Magic Kingdom) on bass, Ramy Ali (Evidence One, Justice) on drums and Mats Olausson (ex-Ark, ex-Yngwie J. Malmsteen, etc.) on keyboards. Honestly I am not that big of a fan of neo-classical metal to begin with so the album's arrangements are hit or miss for me. Influences are the usual from the sounds of it while the promo suggests this one for fans of Firewind, Dio, Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen and Rainbow. Back in the day (when I wore a younger man's clothes) this might have impressed me more but those days are long past. Neo-classical metal tends to drive me crazy with it's over top top "musical masturbation" techniques so thankfully this one does revert back to a mere 80's metal love fest every now and then. In those rare moments bands like Rainbow and Helloween come to mind. Those moments are not enough for me to blush over this album though as things tend to spiral out of control quite quickly and frankly the album is not that overly original to begin with. Over the past decade alone we've seen far too many bands that have not only done this exact same album, but have taken it to a much more respectable level. If your a fan of the genre you might appreciate this while for all others I wouldn't waste any sleep over hearing this one or not.