IRONBOUND - The Lightbringer
June 26, 2021, a month ago
What are the odds? The debut from a heretofore unknown Polish act sounding like Blaze Bayley fronting a traditional minded outfit who only periodically recall Iron Maiden? Sure enough, this is a high quality collection of eight upbeat anthems (OK, jangly begun "The Turn Of The Tide" is more akin to "Sign Of The Cross", i.e. a pseudo ballad, while concluding "Beyond The Horizon" is a full-fledged, 5:08 instrumental, albeit bearing a galloping Steve Harris trademark).
"Fly Away" intro proudly proclaims the album's intent, in the rat-a-tat of snare drum, before "The Witch Hunt" takes over. However, "When Eagles Fly" is where the Poles hit their stride. Infectious, head bobbling rhythm, from the initial notes, it offers a big, sing along chorus backed with plenty of fist pumping energy. Aggressive guitar break, to boot! Follow-up "Smoke And Mirrors" proves the first one was not a mirage, another first rate metallic composition. The initial third restrained, then letting loose for the reminder of the track. Vocalist Łukasz Krauze pushes the upper register on this one.
The title track appears precisely at the midpoint of the running order, an upbeat romp built on a solid Maiden underpinning. Can almost envision Dickinson running across the stage, waving an oversize pennant. "Children Left By God" opts for a mid-tempo path, punctuated by classy guitar noodling and the tight, military cadence rasp of snare. Can hear the chunky bass strings throughout bouncy "Light Up The Skies", the repeated titular phrase comprising the sing-along chorus.
Really good stuff. Hope the label can create a big enough profile that folks outside Poland (especially neighbors in Germany) take notice and help Ironbound step up the international hierarchy. They warrant it!