Ironclad – The Darkest Key

Band: Ironclad
Title: The Darkest Key
Label: Rata Mutante Records
Release date: 06 September 2021
Country: Colombia
Format reviewed: CD

Speed Metal bands are having an important resurgence in these times, especially in Latinamerica, Ironclad is a band hailing from Bogotá, Colombia, with 14 years of experience in the scene, their hard work is giving good fruit, especially with the last album “The Darkest Key”, now its time to dive into it!

The first song, “Belial”, starts with an intro that gives us a kind of nostalgia about the old speed metal 80’s bands, accompanied by a nice keyboard background and a great 80’s sounding, taking the listener to the lands of  Old School metal style, just to start with a guitar faster “solo” at the best “Aggressive Perfector” Slayer style, the voice is clearly influenced by King Diamond style, haunted and very appropriate for this kind of music, the choir is very catchy “The Speed of Killing…Haunted are you?”, followed by a dive bombs battle solo, alternating between both guitar players and with a nice bass sounding that gives more colour to the song

“The Call of Baal”, starts with a bell toll and a kind of intro soldiers march giving the listener the sensation of an eerie undead army, followed by catchy riffs and a great performance voice, is a succession of guitars riffs scaling at maximum speed until the demon arrives and start to sing with such fierce way, “Pounding steel is what makes you live”, a catchy solo is the best addon to this song with a mid-tempo paced rhythm paying tribute to the best 80’s metal style

“Malevolence Fierce”, a furious beginning with a guitar intro that suddenly stops to let us hear the amazing and contundent bass line, followed by a faster guitar riff, the common standard in this song, just pure speed metal!

“Unbreakable Fear” is a succession of nice catchy guitar riffs that starts to put the accelerator pedal with a certain elegance, a nice touch to this song is the “Unbreakable Fear” of this interpretation, loyal  to their 80’s influences with great NWOBHM touches and great guitar solos with a great voice performance

“Thunder Militia” is a song reminiscing undead armies from hell, dressed with chains, steel and leather, fighting with chromed battle-axes, “Thunder Militia … when death is a symbol of freedom”, I like a lot the way as guitars solos sound in this song, giving us an incredible battle atmosphere as a prelude to the beginning of a war, a faster riff with a fierce voice narrating the Hammer of Thor’s battle!

“Lamashtu” is a song with a clear 80’s speed/thrash metal influence, great riffs sounding like “Into The Dark Past” style with a deep deep catchy voice in the choir, muttering Sumerian gods that should not be invoked!

“The Darkest Key” is a remembrance of old school Rotting Christ “Thy Mighty Contract” era as an appetizer to a catchy and fun riff that makes you start headbanging while you are following the song rhythm, is the heaviest metal song of this album, a great surprise.

“Beyond the Lands of Black Death” is the final song of this album, a great choice to end, a faster song with a nice choir:

                                          “Beyond The Lands of Black Death”                                          
“Beyond The Lands of Black Death”                                           
“Beyond The Lands of Black Death!”

simple and fun to listen to, solo guitar battles, and speed metal riffs!

Is a band that’s not reinventing the wheel, but adds some modern touches to make it sound actual, warm, and catchy, delivering a lot of great fun!, I give a solid 8.5/10, great stuff for fans of 80’s Speed and Heavy Metal! Tatgren

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8.5/10 To greatness and glory!
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