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Vanlade - Iron Age

Iron Age
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 September 2012, 4:00 PM

Mankind's history and Metal's music history, more the mythological sense that has been pervaded to Metal music by various of bands to reflect their passion and base of admiration, have their shared points. As it was foretold on the intro of this here album before you, Metal was before everything, it was given to man by the gods, thus commencing the Iron Age. Taking this contemptible theme further, I think that Heavy Metal is a subject of the Middle Ages where steel clashed with steel as it was with long sword to broaden axe, shield to shield and armour to armour. Nonetheless, everyone can find the Metal points in the far reaches of history so this subject, I wouldn't call it a sensible argument, is pretty open for debate. VANLADE, a young American group from Kansas following the old flairs of the 80s, inspired by the hooks of MANOWAR, WIZARD, IRON MAIDEN and HELSTAR while resembling newer acts as SKELATOR, has been forging their hardened plate with fire and thunder while slaying dragons and attempting to have a life by the sword by issuing their debut "Iron Age", released via Stormspell Records. Though pretty much reprising the same old ways of the bands mentioned plus more, because I can't list so many for you not to get bored by names, without any type of original edge or something to brag about or to be called their own, I respect their band's efforts  and their will power to protect true Metal.

After the intro that made me grimace, which would be conjured as a glorious starting point by addicted true Metal fans, VANLADE didn't waste any time and put the pedal to the Metal with "Iron Age" displaying US Power Metal infested with tons of double bass drum action massing a full load of rather generic, but catch speedy trill guitar riffing. In general, this track was pretty good bearing a catchy chorus with great performance by the band's scorching vocalist, Brett "Blackout" Scott, an 80s like thin patterned banshee high end pitcher. After this one there was a rather long pause for me. Aside from the lyrics that didn't seem to be quite intelligent or in any way original, especially the likes of the boring "Hypernova", the selection of tracks wasn't too hot or challenging. However simplistic the band's music is, I believe it could have been far better because true Metal can supply endless hits if done right. I can prove that right here because even VANLADE were able to do that with the last duo powerful tracks, "Bound by Fate (The Rising Dragon)" and the clincher "Life by the Blade", which I assumed it to be the anthem of this whole album, the way of life, the tip of the blade and the power source of its holder. As a true Metal fan myself, I can understand bands that wish to sound and feel like their older Metal gods while keeping it basic because others did it as well. Even so, playing the same stuff altogether can rush future fans out of their way, especially the ones that seek something a bit more complex than swift and banal.

Furthermore, I am sure that the band will be looking forward towards a second release and probably have already begun working on new material. Whether that is the case or not, I ask the band to make comparisons with their current production because it should be haven something more bombastic, fill with depth and sharp. More or less "Iron Age" sounded similar to a semi home recording. I am not suggesting on taking a big name to produce just to take hints from the large variety of releases, of the old school kind of course, existing nowadays. To conclude, VANLADE released a decent album with a good prospective for the sake of heaviness and true Metal music, I just wish they would expand and explore the whole essence of what this genre has to offer.

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Iron Age
3. Evil’s Bane
4. Blood Eagle
5. Hypernova
6. Wings of Fire
7. Bound by Fate (The Rising Dragon)
8. Life by the Blade
Brett "Blackout" Scott - Vocals
Zach "Vanlade" Coffey  - Guitar/Vocals
Nikky Skorcher - Bass
Mike Stryker - Guitar
Cody "CC Spearhead" Campbell - Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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