Iron Mask - Master Of Masters review



Reviewer:
7.2

26 users:
7.23
Band: Iron Mask
Album: Master Of Masters
Release date: December 2020


01. Never Kiss The Ring
02. Tree Of The World
03. Revolution Rise
04. One Against All
05. Nothing Lasts Forever
06. Dance With The Beast
07. Wild And Lethal
08. Mist Of Loch Ness
09. My One And Only
10. A Mother Loved Blue
11. Sagittarius A
12. Master Of Masters


Not as masterful as I had hoped for.

Oh was I excited for this one! So much so that I immediately claimed it for a review. So, after I mentally recovered from that horrendous Lucid Dreaming record, and after the doctors made sure all the screws were back in (hopefully) the right place, I was ready for some actual good power metal. Did I get that with Master Of Masters?

Ah f*ck it, you've already seen my score and intro for it. So, you probably already know what I'm going to say… It's fine, nothing special. Just some solid power metal. And that's actually what it is. However it's also a massive disappointment for me because I really loved the previous record Diabolica (by the way, go listen to that record, it's great!). It almost feels like two steps (or 2 points) backwards.

Anyway, let's start with the production. It's solid overall. I would prefer it if the drums had a bit more spice to them, and the same goes for the guitars to be honest. The vocals are well balanced in the mix and that's also the case for the Neoclassical elements. It's all okay, but the production really misses some personality. The previous record did have that in my opinion: it had charisma.

Speaking of charisma… Let's talk about the vocals. Mike Slembrouck did these on Master Of Masters and well… he's a good singer. The problem for him though is that the previous record had Diego Valdez on vocals; you can't go much more charismatic than that and Mike's performance only confirms that. Again, he is a very good singer, but his style is very straightforward, something that some people will definitely appreciate I think, but it's not really what I associate with Iron Mask. Singers like Goetz Mohre, Mark Boals and Diego Valdez all bring that little bit of extra flair to Iron Mask's songs. The guitar work is very good as you would expect on an Iron Mask, but... I feel like there are far fewer distinguishable parts and unique-sounding songs on this record. The title track is a prime example of that; it just sounds like your typical power metal song. Not bad, very solid even but just predictable unfortunately. You've heard that kind of track many times before.

The lyrics are what you would expect from most power metal records. It never gets painfully cheesy, but it never reaches the quality of some of the lyrics on the previous record, and while that album had a couple of songs with extremely cheesy lyrics, it also had some that transcended the typical power metal tropes; songs like "Galileo", "Oliver Twist" and "Doctor Faust" are the prime examples of that. Master Of Masters constantly hovers in the middle.

Now, I sound like a pessimist, don't I? And while I am, I can also say that there were some fun moments on this record. The two opening songs are very nice. "Never Kiss The Ring" has a good chorus with enjoyable vocal layering as well as some nice guitar touches. I really enjoy that song; it's probably the only one that really got stuck in my head.

As soon as I heard the announcement of a new record, I considered this to be a promising candidate for best power metal album of the year. Sadly, the end result doesn't meet that expectation. The personality and uniqueness factor aren't here. It looks like Judicator's album still remains my favourite power metal album this year. Or is it? There might be another band that persuades me to change that opinion. You will see that in a future review.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 16.12.2020 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 37 users
18.12.2020 - 03:15
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Chiming in to say I love the opening line. Review is well done, though seeing the opener is what got me, a non-power dude, in the door. nice work, Tomtomtominator.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
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18.12.2020 - 09:42
nikarg
Mod
Quote:
It looks like Judicator's album still remains my favourite power metal album this year. Or is it?

Check this one out, if you haven't yet.


Quote:
There might be another band that persuades me to change that opinion.

I see what you did there
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18.12.2020 - 12:04
tominator
At best deranged
Written by BitterCOld on 18.12.2020 at 03:15

Chiming in to say I love the opening line. Review is well done, though seeing the opener is what got me, a non-power dude, in the door. nice work, Tomtomtominator.


Thanks!
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18.12.2020 - 12:12
tominator
At best deranged
Written by nikarg on 18.12.2020 at 09:42

Check this one out, if you haven't yet.


I haven't checked that one yet. Will definitely do. Yannis on vocals always sounds promising.

Written by nikarg on 18.12.2020 at 09:42

I see what you did there


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