Iron Kingdom – Gates of Eternity

With today’s surplus of heavy metal sub-genres, some may be finding themselves terribly nostalgic for vintage metal; those are likely to find themselves grateful for what Canadians, Iron Kingdom, have packaged on their most recent effort, Gates of Eternity. Iron Kingdom is: Chris Osterman (lead guitar and lead vocals), Amanda Osterman (drums and backing vocals), Kenny Kroecher (lead guitar and rhythm) and Leighton Holmes (bass and backing vocals). As relative newcomers to metaldom, the musicians bring with them the sonic wisdom of metal veterans.

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Iron Kingdom’s first album was Curse of the Voodoo Queen, which landed in 2011; their latest full-length, Gates of Eternity was released in April 2013. Gazing back at early metal, Iron Kingdom delivers a hauntingly captivating work and can boast some impressive moments.

The opening track, “At the Gates,” introduces a majestic-sounding riff that thematically reappears throughout the piece, an overall strong beginning to the record. Soaring atop of the track, Osterman’s lead vocals couple with Holme’s throbbing bass to be prominent features of the album.

A different approach is heard with “Candeloro,” as it swiftly drifts along amid a soft piano strokes; “Guardian Angel” follows and meets, “At Home in the Dark,” a busy track that experiments with shifting directions on its melody. “Egypt (The End is Near)” is a lengthy number that is almost instrumental; it grasps the opportunity to weave thematic elements, from hints at Eastern musical nuances to more rhythmic progressions.

One cannot fall gullible under the tantalizing, traditional metal mask that Iron Kingdom exudes; Gates of Eternity shows dollops of artistry propelled by the band and tracks, “At Home in the Dark” and “Egypt (The End is Near)” demonstrate that idea. Immediately noticeable is that the recording seems to cherish an vintage feel, which delightfully contributes to the album’s ambiance. Gates of Eternity should keep listeners on edge and anticipating future projects from Iron Kingdom.