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Iron Griffin - Curse of the Sky

Iron Griffin
Curse of the Sky
by Mike "Bitchin" Bourgeois at 12 March 2019, 8:59 AM

The amount of people that I know of who can record all instruments on an album  successfully (shout out to Les Paul for developing Multi-Track recording) is small. Mike Oldfield and Devon Townsend come to mind, but they are exceptions to the rule. Even the narcissistic Ygnwie Malmsteen learned eventually to farm out his bass and drum parts. Unfortunately Iron Griffin's Oskari Räsänen has failed to convince me otherwise.

When I heard the opening "Prelude" I was vaguely hopeful, it had nice acoustic sound with a brightness that was immediately lost when "Reign of Thunder" kicked in. In fact this was the mix for the entire album and it sounded like the mix was played underwater then recorded again. The bass sounded like it had dirty strings and played with a sponge muting the strings. Vocalist Maija Tiljander has potential in her voice, but there was a lot of pressure put on her and it was present in her singing, especially when she went high. I attribute this to the two days she had to record all the vocals.

"Lost Legion" is the song I'm going to scapegoat for the album sake. The opening starts off nice, then the main body kicks in, with one of my pet peeves, bass mirroring the guitar part. What this takes away is a symbiosis between the drums and band, leaving them sounding like a complicated metronome that adds no real feel to the song, and if the bass was off the root note, the cordial dynamic of the music would be filled out. An example would be play a D on an Em cord. The seventh would sound amazing and give more options for everyone else to go to. A dedicated bass player might have help over come these shortcomings. The guitar sound is stage friendly but nowhere near recording quality, all mid, no bottom or top end. The pseudo-gregarian chanting was not defined, sliding the note changes rather than distinct transitions. These problems are found through-out the album.

To be honest though there is potential there. If he farmed out the  drum, bass, and engineering duties and concentrated on the songwriting and guitar, the flaws would be dealt with, and with Oskari's load being lighter he might be able to put this base he has recorded now under a worthy construction. Keep Maija, her potential combined with the music could carry Iron Griffin far.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Prelude
2. Reign of Thunder
3. Forgotten Steel
4. Lost Legion
5. Curse of the Sky
6. Dawn of Struggle
7. To the Path of Glory
Oskari Räsänen - All Instruments
Maija Tiljander - Vocals
Record Label: Gates of Hell Records


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Edited 21 June 2019

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