Written by Carcassbomb
- Blood Red Victory
- Heavy Metal
- Ohio, USA
- February 7, 2020
Ironflame is one of those projects where it’s very difficult to tell that this is a solo studio project with a live band due to how insanely well rounded it is. I’ve always had a sort of glee in covering solo projects and have a tendency to romanticise the idea of the lone creator but it is not undeserved when talking about the legendary Andrew D’Cagna of Icarus Witch. As with many lone creatives one project just isn’t enough, he’s in loads of projects not just as a musician but also as a sound engineer.
Blood Red Victory is the third LP of Ironflame and it is set for release on February 7 via Divebomb Records (CD) and Metalworld Switzerland (vinyl and cassette) so write that down in your tiny planners.
Alright so it’s not entirely Andrew’s effort but it is mostly, he kind of cheated by getting two guitarists in for solos – an idea I find interesting. One of the major downsides to a solo project is that there is no one else to bounce ideas off of to test their strength during the writing process so a great way to get around this is by identifying where in the process help is needed or extra flavor, then outsource these parts to badasses. This can be done locally or just by sending files across the globe – I have no idea what exactly went on here but the collaboration worked nicely.
At its worst, Ironflame can sound like a Iron Maiden cover band and other times something more original shines through with some very creative riffs. Overall there’s a nice middle ground of homage and personalised song writing. This is some catchy hook ridden heavy metal with the perfect guitar tone for solos. I love solos but I don’t typically listen to heavy metal due to being very picky with clean vocals. Bad cleans are more obnoxious than bad growls on average in my experience. These vocals are fortunately the kind I can enjoy because they fit into the mixing well and don’t overpower the instruments with unnecessary bravado. This is the strength of the vocalist also being the instrumentalist.
For me the instruments are the essence of the epic sound and I would play the heck out of an instrumental version of this album (A popular release strategy lately). The lyrical themes are very appropriate for the genre with general concepts of personal triumph that is written in a way that immerses the listener into the story by treating you like a comrade rather than an audience.
If like me you are someone who doesn’t often listen to the genre, then I’d recommend giving this one a go as your re-entry point after some of 2019s more disappointing heavy metal albums. This is a strong album that may reignite your flame for cheesy 80s inspired metal.
Out February 7, 2020.