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Iron Angel - Hellish Crossfire 2004 Marquee Records reviewed by: EC

Track Listing
1.The Metallian
2.Sinner 666
3.Black Mass
4.The Church Of The Lost Souls
5.Hunter In Chains
6.Rush Of Power
7.Legions Of Evil
8.Wife Of The Devil
9.Nightmare
10.Heavy Metal Soldiers

Bonus Demo Tracks
11.Open The Gate/Devil's Gate
12.Rush Of Power
13.Maniac Of The Night
14.Sea Of Flames
15.Wife Of The Devil
16.Hounds Of Hell
Iron Angel's early thrash masterpiece, "Hellish Crossfire", gets the full reissue treatment here. Brazil heavyweight Marquee Records has teamed up with Old Metal to deliver this showcase of true German thrash, with plenty of bonus material to get those vinyl holders to shell out the bucks for the disc version.

Iron Angel were one of the early German thrash bands, much in the same style as Destruction, Kreator, and Sodom, with the bomb-blast combo of fast riffs and over the top vocals. Like other acts of that era, Iron Angel were a furious thrash machine, while adding in elements of old school black metal like Venom and Bathory to create the perfect diabolic force.

The band released their debut album in 1985 courtesy of Steamhammer Records, which is now a division of SPV. "Hellish Crossfire", complete with sadistic artwork, proved to be the ultimate German thrash attack, with hell-blazing cuts like "The Metallian", "Sinner 666", and "Legions Of Evil". Combining the dark side of black metal with the ferocious frenzy of early acts like Avenger and Running Wild, Iron Angel set a path to victory with its full use of the metal spectrum, dishing out a solid full-length that featured elements ranging from speed metal to power, all neatly delivered by vocalist Dirk Schroder, who hit the highs and lows perfectly.

"Hellish Crossfire" has seen a reissue in the past courtesy of Old Metal Records, however this time around Marquee has stepped in and remastered the record. Along with the remastering comes a host of goodies for this release. The album's cover has been given a makeover, polished up and delivered in all its demonic glory. Along with the polished album cover, the booklet gets furnished a nice color photo of the band in it's prime. Inside we get a detailed write-up on the band, and a track-by-track review of the album.

The goods don't stop there however. Along with the full '85 release, "Hellish Crossfire" also gets packaged with six bonus tracks, taken from a demo tape (possibly Legions Of Evil). The quality is the worst I've heard, but you can clearly hear frontman Schroder singing in more of a power metal style as opposed to the Venom spew set forth on the debut. The demos are nothing you could really crank up in the car, but it adds a nice addition to this album, and lets me explore all dimensions of the band.

Next on the list to be reissued is the band's only other album, the more commercial effort "Winds Of War" from 1986.

Note-Iron Angel were set to reform and release a new album this year, "The Rebirth". Tragically guitarist Petter Wittke died in a car accident last September. Plans for the new album have been delayed.


--EC 07.06.04
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 served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. 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.

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 ANGEL
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Hellish CrossfireIron Angel
2004
Eric Compton7/5/2004
Winds Of WarIron Angel
2004
Eric Compton9/26/2004


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