Iron Mask - Hordes Of The Brave

luigiluigi NZ
edited April 3 in year-2005

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ARTIST: Iron Mask
ALBUM: Hordes Of The Brave
LABEL: Lion Music
SERIAL: LMC 131
YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Dushan Petrossi - all guitars * Goetz 'Valhalla Jr' Mohr, Oliver Hartmann - lead vocals * Richard Andersson - keyboards * Vassili Moltchanov - bass * Anton Arkhipov - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Holy War * 02 Freedoms Blood - The Patriot * 03 Time * 04 The Invisible Empire * 05 High In The Sky * 06 Alexander The Great - Hordes Of The Brave * 07 Crystal Tears * 08 Iced Wind Of The North * 09 My Eternal Flame * 10 Troops Of Avalon

RATING: image

Background

Dushan Petrossi is the man behind one of Lion Music's latest releases, Iron Mask. This band is Dushan's solo group, aside from his work with Magic Kingdom. This is the second Iron Mask album and it is a little ripper.

Anyone disillusioned by what Yngwie is turning out should pick this up immediately. Dushan makes no apologies for being Yngwie-inspired and 'Hordes Of The Brave' is a fantastic mix of old Yngwie and At Vance. For the recording of this album Petrossi enlisted the vocal supremacy of ex-At Vance singer Oliver Hartmann. However, Oliver takes the reins on 3 tracks.

The remaining tracks are handled by the unknown (to these ears) Goetz Mohr. This guy will not remain unknown for long. My God, what an incredible voice. Aspects of Jorn Lande, David Coverdale, Graham Bonnet, and even the aforementioned Hartmann. The rhythm section is handled by the same one that drives Magic Kingdom, while the super-talented Richard Andersson handles the keys.

The interplay between Petrossi's guitar and Andersson's keyboards constantly reminds you of the duals between Yngwie and Jens Johansson on Malmsteen's 'Odyssey'. Now, having enlisted a couple of mighty singers and a group of stellar musicians, Dushan also wrote an album of material that even Yngwie might tip his hat to.

The Songs

You don't get a much brighter start than 'Holy War', a monumental neo-classical anthem with sweep picking all over the place. The drumming gives it an even greater edge with a slightly thrashy sound. Cool stuff.

On the tracks 'Freedom's Blood' and 'The Invisible Empire' you can really hear the At Vance sound coming through, especially on 'The Invisible Empire' which has Hartmann on vocals. The duet between Goetz and Hartmann, 'Ice Wind Of The North' flies by at the speed of light and the two sound great together. An all-out neoclassical rocker with a chorus that hints at Tyr-era Black Sabbath.

If there was any doubt about the quality of Goetz, not that there would be, then those doubts are laid to rest on the power ballad 'My Eternal Flame'. When I first heard it I thought it was Hartmann singing. I'm sure that will give you an idea of how good Goetz is.

In Summary

On most occasions I haven't been overly impressed by Lion's releases. Either I don't appreciate the style, or the quality is lacking. However, there have been times when this label has come up with not only a good release, but a friggin' brilliant one. Iron Mask is one of those times.

I cannot emphasise how deeply impressed I am by both Dushan's guitar work and his strong songwriting. Not sure who produced it but 'Hordes of the Brave' also has a huge production. With this album you get the whole package - extremely tight and talented musicianship, major label production and songs that have classic written all over them.


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