Iron Fire was riding the wave of European power metal until the release of on The Edge, which encountered criticism leading to Noise Records predictably dropping the band. In the meanwhile, the band was rocked by defections leaving only founder/singer Steene standing.
The band had actually started as a power metal band in 1995 playing covers of acts like Rage and Manowar. Steene also played guitar in the early days. The band recorded a demo in 1998 and soon signed with Noise Records. Iverssen left and rejoined the band.
A new line-up signed to Napalm Records in 2006. Iron Fire again chose Tommy Hansen as the producer for its next album, entitled Revenge. The band and drummer Jens Berglid went their separate ways in August of 2007. The new man’s name was Fritz Wagner. A Finnish tour in support of Primal Fear was cancelled when Iron Fire was replaced by Sinamore. Guitarist Johan Jacob left however in 2008 ostensibly after falling out of love with metal. The band would release a new album called To The Grave through Napalm Records in January. The band picked guitarist Marc Masters (Forcentury) to join in early 2009. The band's latest album, To The Grave, was released through Napalm Records.
IRON FIRE – REVENGE – NAPALM
Be it plain curiosity or interest on the part of the fans many people were waiting to get wind of the sound, direction and quality of Revenge given the group’s near-complete line-up overhaul, change of record company and time gap between this album and 2001’s On The Edge. While that album’s name might have proven prophetic, Revenge’s title is no less appropriate. Clearly named to reflect singer Martin Steene’s stance towards his former band-mates – as if the lyrics to the album’s opener were not clear enough – the disc makes for a compelling listen. The singer has slightly altered his vocals to sing in a higher pitch, undoubtedly to distance him from the kind of criticism hurled his way in the past.
Adorned with one of the better album covers in some time Revenge is apparently a dish best served heavy, loud and well produced. On a song-by-song basis, Ironhead has a rather folksy melody, while Metal Messiah slows down to sound like Dream Evil’s tributes to the genre. The title might be corny, but obviously gets the point across. Savage Prophecy is another slow and dramatic song, which is nestled in the middle of the album. It reminds one of Hammerfall’s ballads. Oddly, one of the album’s better songs is tucked towards the disc’s end. Mindmachine has breathtaking vocals, mighty backing vocals and superb lead guitars In contrast, Icecold Arion is a letdown and features some odd percussion. This one does that Hammerfall thing lyrically.
As far as power metal albums go Revenge is a cut above. Steene and crew have ignited a fire here that should warm up the fans again resulting in renewed interest in the band. – Anna Tergel
IRON FIRE – BLADE OF TRIUMPH – NAPALM
The guys at the record company describe the new Iron Fire album as “100% genuine heavy metal” and they are almost right. A 95% genuine rating would probably be closer to the mark. This is it. Glorious metal hymns, guitars, soaring singing and ripping solos packaged in an artwork depicting warriors, sword and fantasy.
Blade Of Triumph should be seen as an exercise in commitment by Martin Steene and crew. The production of Fredrik Nordström is on the money as usual and complementary. What did surprise though was how close to Dream Evil, Double Diamond or Hammerfall Iron Fire has become nowadays. Steel Invaders and Dragonheart (the titles say it all) are custom made for the fans of the aforementioned bands and is almost too close for comfort. The speed is kept within the mid-paced confines and only exceeds the average on the title track at the end of the album. Some more speed would never hurt. Similarly, more guitar solos would help. Iron Fire has the ability to perform leads, as heard on Bridges Will Burn and Follow The Sign, but the Danes falter in providing more. The slow song Legend Of The Magic Sword begins with a folk riff. A little more originality, leads and speed would really help the band, although one would rather have this than any of the shenanigans other bands pull off – especially the ones on Napalm Records. – Anna Tergel