Ironbound – The Lightbringer

The Lightbringer Album Cover Art

Ironbound – The Lightbringer
Ossuary Records
Release Date: 30/04/2021
Running Time: 46:20
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Part NWOBHM early Iron Maiden, part Modern Euro-Metal, Poland’s Ironbound have been bubbling around for a few years with only a short EP to their name to date, so this first album is an important milestone for them. Since that time, they have a had new pair of lungs at the microphone and I get a strong sense that vocalist Łukasz Krauze has helped pull these guys up by their bootstraps, because for such a young act who have self-produced, this is an unexpected little diamond in the rough of a record.

A quick look at what went before shows a band that have realised that in a crowded market place, attention to detail and a focus on professional quality is the only way forward and this album has a richness to the song writing and production that takes you by surprise. OK, there’s a couple of bridges and riffs in there that Harris, Murray and Smith might want to lay partial claim to, but fundamentally this is a band paying homage to their heroes without sounding clichéd or derivative and a huge amount of their own distinctiveness to stand apart. In part this is the songs, but the performance of the musicians is top notch to boot. Krauze’s long high voice is a treat and evokes Blaze Bayley at his height, and he’s got that gift of holding your attention through his intonation and leads you through the tracks, to which we willingly follow. There are a lot of bands out there right now desperately trying to recapture a sound forty years gone, but Ironbound have pulled off the feat of adopting style as influence whilst keeping their own sound.

That sound I keep coming back to. They sound a very cohesive unit, with no one instrument predominating in the mix, although vocals stand very strongly out in front, which, when you have a strong voice to show off is absolutely right, and it feels like this has been done with a no frills approach, so one of the few NWOBHM re-creators around at the moment that sounds like it could have been recorded back in the day. Excluding the intro ‘Far Away’, all the remaining eight tracks are reasonable lengthy, which gives plenty of room for instrumentalists to play in that Maidenesque way, but unlike the granddaddies, the instrumental sections aren’t based around overplaying the riffs or drowning you in solos – it’s more about trying different structural directions within songs in that distinctive way that made Maiden’s first two records so ground breaking. Nothing nails this more than ‘Children Left By God’, whose epic qualities and strength of writing make this a stand out track on the record and show such maturity that I struggled to accept that this is these guys first rodeo. Then there’s the technically rich and layered power ballad ‘The Turn Of The Tides’ that really hammers home how these guys can play with our emotions and again another belter of a track. Although I can’t fault any of the songs on here, the richer and more mature ones are definitely held to the end but to be honest this is one of those records that grows with every listen. Great work chaps.

‘When Eagles Fly’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Far Away
02. The Witch Hunt
03. When Eagles Fly
04. Smoke And Mirrors
05. The Lightbringer
06. Children Left By God
07. The Turn Of The Tide
08. Light Up The Skies
09. Beyond The Horizon

LINE-UP:
Łukasz Krauze – Vocals
Michał Halamoda – Guitars
Krzysztof Całka – Guitars
Zbigniew Bizoń – Bass
Adam Całka – Drums

LINKS:

Ironbound Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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