Another day, another name from the past resurrected by Denmark’s seemingly nostalgia-insatiable Mighty Music… This time they’ve helped out in the re-animation of German speed metal titans Iron Angel with, it has to be said, largely exciting results.
The Hamburg metal icons have had quite a bad time of it since they originally called time at the end of the eighties, with a couple of band members meeting untimely ends and the band, on their initial reformation, battling against inertia and perceived lack of interest. So it’s perhaps a miracle that they are here at all. I’m glad they are, however, as on tracks like Blood and Leather and Deliverance in Black they’ve taken the blueprint they helped design in the eighties and taken it, if not to the next level then to a very exalted place in deed.
The band, led by original vocalist Dirk Schröder – who sounds great throughout – sound energised and vital, which of course isn’t always the case with scene icons of this vintage. Undoubtedly fired up by new guitarists Mitsch Meyer and Robert Altenbach, Schröder gives a bravura performance throughout. It’s not a one man show however, with those two axe heroes shining repeatedly and drummer Mäx Behr giving a masterclass in speed metal drumming.
It’s nice to hear a drummer not simply relying on double time snare and kick drum berserking in this kind of music; that wasn’t how drummers played when Iron Angel started out on their journey and Behr is sensitive to that. His playing is one of the key reasons Iron Angel sound so good, and so authentic, on this splendid album.
Waiting for a Miracle showcases the band at their most melodic, fusing the memorable chorus capacity of early eighties peers such as Accept and Grave Digger to pleasing effect. And in closing track Ministry of Metal, they’ve penned a new speed metal anthem for the eighties. Great stuff!
An all-round success then, and I’m already looking forward to seeing what the band comes up with next! Onwards and upwards!
Hellbound is released today (May 4th) by Mighty Music.