December 8, 2020
Photo: Jens Devos

Master Of Masters is the seventh album by the classy Belgian neo-classical power metal outfit Iron Mask and sees another twelve perfectly composed and delivered epic metal songs that further enhance the reputation of this always pleasing rock titan. The band was formed in 2002 by the multi-instrumentalist Dushan Petrossi and has run alongside his other splendid power metal band, Magic Kingdom, quite comfortable since then. As with so many other bands, there have been numerous changes in personnel with just Petrossi and bassist Vassili Moltchanov from the original line-up and the band has seen a fair number of vocalists come and go with the stunning Mark Boals included in this number with the new singer now being Mike Slembrouck. The team is completed by Remy Ali on drums, a position he has held since 2010 and you may also know him from Evidence One and Serious Black.

Keeping within the nature of power metal, the music continues with themes of epic fantasy as evidenced on the cover art and by the tales of derring-do covered in the songs. The album kicks off with the powerful and exciting Never Kiss The Ring which is typical Iron Mask being fast paced, frenetic and packed with glorious lead guitar throughout. This sets the standard for the album and the pace never drops as the band roars through 61 minutes of simply perfect and instantly gratifying power metal. Mike Slembrouck shows himself to be a most adept addition to the band with his incredibly powerful voice and he is another in an ever growing list of vocalists inspired by Ronnie James Dio and he has settled into his new role very comfortably. You can see this is another band inspired by Iron Maiden, early Rainbow, Dio and Helloween and the word is inspired not copied as they have taken all of these influences and fused them into a style that is distinctly their own.

Master Of Masters is a perfect addition to the Iron Mask catalogue and shows a band that indeed has a mastery of hard and heavy rock with the ability to write hook laden power metal classics and with a thrilling new singer and a guitarist who is incendiary, mercurial and dazzling. As well as being an incredible guitar player Dushan Petrossi also shows that his song writing skills are exceptional too as he has perfected the art of the anthemic heavy metal allied with mythological and ancient themes of a fantastic and magical nature. There is a symphonic feel to the music too which adds to the grandness of the proceedings but it never tempers the sheer ferocity of the monstrous metal monster that the album is.

This is going to be one of those albums you hear once and know you must have and will surely have those hearing it for the first time saying ‘who the hell is this, I must have it’? If you love your power metal with blistering solo after blistering solo then this is a must have, play as loud as you can and revel in a marvelous album from one of Belgium’s finest bands.

Master Of Masters track list

  1. Never Kiss the Ring (5:43)
  2. Tree of the World (4:47)
  3. Revolution Rise (feat. Oliver Hartmann) (4:28)
  4. One Against All (5:31)
  5. Nothing Lasts Forever (9:01)
  6. Dance with the Beast (5:31)
  7. Wild and Lethal (4:31)
  8.  Mist of Loch Ness (5:38)
  9. My One and Only (3:54)
  10. A Mother Loved Blue (4:25)
  11. Sagittarius A (1:42)
  12. Master of Masters (5:45)