Arco : Four years after the release of Iron Mask's second album Hordes Of The Brave the third one, entitled Shadow Of The Red Baron, is released. The band's style, with Belgian guitar virtuoso Dushan Petrossi, has not changed and so this CD is full of melodic, epic neo-classic metal with a symphonic touch.
Petrossi, who even more focussed on composing good songs, wrote and produced eleven songs. For the singing he trusted on Valhalla Jr. (Goets Mohre) who did a more than good job. Exception on that is the song 'Dreams' that was sung by Oliver Hartmann who is also responsable for much of the backing vocals. An other guest is Lars Eric Mattson who plays a guitar solo (3rd) on 'Sahara'.
Still on bass guitar is Vassili Moltchanov, a new drummer was found in Erik Stout (Reign Of Terror) and keyboards are now played by Andreas Lindahl (Narnia, The Murder Of My Sweet).
Because this kind of music is not very original it is important the songs are good, and played well. In case of Shadow Of The Red Baron this is both top notch: lovely compositions with sparkling guitars and strong vocals. In preparation of this third album Petrossi's mom passed away wich resulted in songs with sensitive lyrics as in 'Forever In The Dark, 'My Angels Is Gone' and 'We Will Meet Again'.
Yet, songs as 'Black Dev'il', 'Resurrection' and the title song have more epic lyrics. Jen Bogren (Symphony X, Opeth) was responsible for the sound and he created a nice transparant but complete sound. The artwork is again from Eric Phillipe's hand and based on the title song.
Yngwie Malmsteen and Magic Kingdom (Petrossi's former band) fans should have a listen at Iron Mask's third one; Shadow Of The Red Baron.