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