March 9, 2024

Poland’s classic heavy metallers Ironbound return next week with their second full length, three years after the very good debut The Lightbringer. The band’s style is immediately reminiscent of nineties-era Iron Maiden and, you guessed it, the solo works of Blaze Bayley. It is indeed meat and potatoes heavy metal, rarely experimenting, guaranteed to please fans for at least a few listens, but not good enough to stay in your player for too long. The problem with Serpent’s Kiss is it plays too safe in trying to replicate the tested formula from the debut with no spread of the imagination. The guitar solos in The Destroyer Of Worlds and Forefathers’ Rites are really good, but the tempos and the structure of almost all of the songs is just too predictable.

What I like about Ironbound is their obvious love for this type of metal and their dedication to the band’s cause, creating a killer imagery in their artwork and even having their own mascot. However, much like their British brothers in arms Tailgunner, who released their debut last year, the Polish add very little originality and hooks to what sounds like a different version of the same song. I may be a bit too harsh here, because I am actually a big fan of the genre, even if most of it has been exhausted in the Eighties by Priest, Maiden and Accept. What bands like Tailgunner and Ironbound need to understand is they need much better songs, and they don’t have to be afraid of experimenting and adding their own touch to the picture. This is a problem I’ve discussed with the last few Queensrÿche albums too. The best song of the bunch is undoubtedly Holy Sinners, which just has the hooks and memorable melody to stay in your head for longer. This song reminded me of Stray Gods, who are also emulating classic Maiden, but have better songs, better hooks, and a better vocalist.

It’s a very tough competition in classic metal (and not only), especially after the pandemic, the bands are hungry to release new music and make more live shows, so Ironbound need to step up their game considerably for album number three.

6,5/10


Ironbound in Facebook

Serpent’s Kiss will be out on March 15th and you can order it from HERE