F U L L . R E V I E W S



Iron Fire
To The Grave

Company: Napalm Records
Release: 2009
Genre: Power
Reviewer: EC

  • BY FAR the band's best work to date



  • Just when you thought Overkill or Iced Earth had the biggest revolving door of in and out again musicians, in steps Iron Fire to take their share of metal's largest turnover. Vocalist Martin Steene (also see him with Mercyful Fate members as Force Of Evil) has been abandoned over and over again since the band's debut album in 2000. Since then Iron Fire has released five albums total, each of them with a variety of not-so-in-the-band musicians that have toured, recorded, and modeled band shots for those nice little glossy booklets. The group's most solid state would come in 2006 when the same set of musicians recorded "Revenge" and then stayed intact to release "Blade Of Triumph" in 2007. Now 2009 has arrived and Steene has some new faces backing his power metal voice. Steene adds new drummer Fritz Wagner and new-now-lone guitarist Kirk Backarach. Bassist Martin Lund stays put, now the longest running Iron Fire member other than Steene to be involved longer than 2 years (his run now 4 years). Yes, even Jon Schaffer would be scratching his head.

    With all of the negativity with band turnover, I must say that the newest Iron Fire release, "To The Grave", IS BY FAR the band's best work to date. This riveting metalasterpiece is all consuming in its ability to weave classic heavy metal (Heavy Load, Oz) with today's more modern power metal fabrics. The 2009 version of Iron Fire is more in line with what you will find on a Dream Evil or Paragon release while still keeping an identity that is fresh in its delivery. The production job is stellar thanks to famed brainframe Tommy Hansen, who has had hands on countless classics including Helloween.

    Blazing anthems like "Kill For Metal" and "Cover The Sun" are true mile markers for this band. This is the kind of stuff that has been stepped over on previous works. Check out the obligatory viking sing along "Hail To Odin". Steene just sounds amazing and I really enjoy his up-and-down tones that use deeper spoken growls with his polished high register. This technique brings to mind Michael Seifert's performance with his band Rebellion. New drummer Wagner really puts some footwork into these beats and Backarach is quite an accomplished six-stringer.

    "To The Grave" is absolutely the best album of 2009 thus far and a solid "comeback" for the band. I am glad Napalm Records gave Steene and his clan another album shot as this one is quite pleasing. Let's see Iron Fire on the road in the US soon!! Maximum Metal demands it.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: IRON FIRE
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    To The GraveIron Fire
    2009
    Eric Compton2/20/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: IRON FIRE
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Among the DeadIron Fire
    2016
    Eric Compton9/12/2016


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: IRON FIRE
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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