Iron Angel - Winds Of War 2004 Marquee Records reviewed by: EC
1. Winds Of War 2. Metalstorm 3. Son Of A Bitch 4. Vicious 5. Born To Rock 6. Fight For Your Life 7. Stronger Than Steel 8. Sea Of Flames 9. Creatures Of Destruction 10. Back To The Silence
11. The Metallian 12. Sinner 666 13. Black Mass 14. The Church Of The Lost Souls 15. Rush Of Power 16. Hunter In Chains 17. Legions Of Evil
After the fantastic reissue treatment given to Iron Angel's debut, "Hellish Crossfire", Marquee Records has stepped in once again to release the group's second album, "Winds Of War", released originally in 1986 by Steamhammer. With this reissue, Marquee has thrown in some live bonus cuts to spruce up this already classic German speedfest.
I won't bother going into the back history of Iron Angel. For those of you who are curious about the history of the band, or want to read a review of their debut record, just look up my review of that particular reissue in the Review section of Maximum Metal. I will however state that "Winds Of War" is a very different record than its predecessor, with Iron Angel shifting the metal gears into a more solid, hard rocking effort with their sophomore release.
Sure, the speed metal vibe is present on this album, just look at fast riding cuts like "Creatures Of Destruction" or "Metalstorm" to prove my point. But it is the slower, less technical stance that this record takes that really appeals to me. For the longest time I didn't like this album nearly as much as the first, but as the Scorpions and Accepts of the world have become increasingly more numb to me (I've wore out the discs), I find the hard rocking attitude of "Winds Of War" very refreshing.
Tracks like "Born To Rock" and "Stronger Than Steel" burn intensely with that Accept/U.D.O sonic riffage, which some may find commercial when compared to their first album, but by no means are these types of songs weak or radio friendly. The heaviest of the heavy will find this album filled with crunchy, fast rhythm numbers, with vocalist Dirk Schroder straying from out of control warrior to rock renegade persona seemingly overnight. The record is smooth, with the arrangements and song writing patterns easy to follow, keeping the album flowing fluidly from start to finish.
Along with the original "Winds Of War" recording, this reissue contains seven bonus live cuts, taken from the group's "Hellish Crossfire" tour. I highly recommend picking both of these reissues up.
Note - Hell Bent For Leather has announced they have an Iron Angel live album out with even more bonus cuts.
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.
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