IRON FIRE – Voyage Of The Damned

The last release of the Danish Power Metal band IRON FIRE dates from 2010 and was titled “Metalmorphosized”.See my review here. This also marked the band’s tenth anniversary. I came into contact with their music in 2006 when “Revenge” was released. It was also the band’s first album in five years, after the second album “On The Edge”. Album no. 3 was ok, but with each following release, IRON FIRE indeed regained the strength and recognition. However, personally speaking, while I liked that the musical material improved, sounding stronger and more powerful, I was still to be amazed by IRON FIRE. Would the new album, “Voyage Of The Damned” realise this? Napalm Records certainly believes in the potential of the Danish and released it on the 27th January 2012.

With thirteen tracks, the album sure is packed and delivers a good hour powerful, melodic Metal. The journey begins with “The Dark Beyond”, an atmospheric, almost cinematic intro, you could call it. This connects directly with the powerful start of “Enter Oblivion OJ-666”. On offer: fast, pounding Power Metal where keyboards deliver the melodic guidance and alerts. The chorus is where everything rolls out at full force. Epic stuff! A dark, powerful rhythmic moment precedes the solo, which in turn is backed by a Thrashy kind of Metal. Very well done! The journey in space, since the previous track had that feeling, continues with the intro of “Taken” before the music comes in in a slow manner, sounding dark and ghostly. This rises to a climax to be taken over by midtempo Metal with atmospheric backing. Martin’s singing also is more fierce here. The dark chorus is sung with monstrous vocals, while the bridge is cleaner, though does rock! Solos come from guitar and keyboards, taking turns. IRON FIRE has taken the right musical path indeed.

Things get more simple in “Slaughter Of Souls”, not exactly offering anything lighter, however. The piano provides the leads, while the guitars and drums are responsible for power and rhythm. The guitar does burst in occasionally in the otherwise clean verses. Full power and volume come out – logically – in the chorus. I had to think of DARK TRANQUILLITY in a way, albeit that IRON FIRE then does it in a Power Metal fashion. The chorus is also straight-forward and to the point, while monstrous vocals lay in the back. “Leviathan” begins with choir backing vocals, while the music again made me think of e.g. DARK TRANQUILLITY and IN FLAMES. Again, IRON FIRE still resides in the Power Metal genre. This is a midtempo track, tight and relatively simple again. Melody comes from both guitars and keyboards, the latter from the back. The chorus can be considered a hymnic one, again with those monstrous/demonic backing vocals. The obligatory solo moment was also incoporated later on. So far, all I’ve heard is well done. I’ve got no (real) complaints.

Time for another cinematic song, or intro: “The Final Odyssey”. Atmospheric backing and vocals are the only things you’ll hear at first, then full options are activated and the result is comparable to AYREON’s “Flight Of The Migrator” (the album) or STAR ONE’s releases. Symphonic elements and the piano play a key role in this hymnic song. Honestly, I like it! “Ten Years” is a pounding, fierce and vicious Power Metal song and what a contrast that gives with the previous songs. The chorus, while melodic, is slower, more emotional. Including screaming backing vocals. “Voyage Of The Damned”, the title track, is the longest, with little more than 10 minutes. As you might expect, it begins with a symphonic intro and atmospheric backing, including choirs and a spacey feeling. That’s an image you can clearly imagine, in my opinion. The orchestral influence grows with the input of brass instrumentation, while electronic add to the setting, the mood. Yep, a cinematic part without question. The Metal comes in with bursts and transcends into direct bombastic verses. Guest vocals are delivered by Nils K. Rue from the Norwegian Progressive Power Metal band PAGAN’s MIND. Martin falls in in the bridge, in a more emotional way, while the chorus contrasts with pounding music and Nils’s voice. The presence of the orchestral side of the music cannot be denied, as the song also ends in this way.

Another slab of bombastic Power Metal can be found in “With Different Eyes”. The melodic parts are delivered by the keyboards, but the power of the guitars and drums prevails. Over halfway, before the solo is unleashed, there’s a rhythmic moment (perfect for headbanging, so to speak) with screamy vocals. Here as well, another very solid song. “Dreams Of The Dead Moon” is more a classic Heavy Metal song, but with the added productional power. The music rolls on like a big chainsaw. Martin thus also sings again more fiercely. The melodic touches come out in the chorus with a piano moment over halfway. This is catchy stuff, easy to move along to. Orchestral elements, keyboards, piano… why not an organ? So it happens then in “Verge To Collide”, which starts with the organ and Martin singing the chorus line. After that, Metal time! Powerful, midtempo and hymnic. The verses neatly flow over into the melodic bridge and hymnic chorus. This is another simple song, as in nothing too technical or progressive, but it does sound quite bombastic.

Destructive power is delivered in “Realm Of Madness”, which can probably be deduced from the title. This attack of guitars and drums sounds like automatic gunfire and logically, the verses are ballsy, while the chorus has a more melodic character. A very good result. The voyage ends with “Warmaster Of Chaos”, which is probably the only song I liked less. It’s a midtempo Heavy/Power Metal song with a melodic chorus (incl. screamy backings). In short, the same, dark recipe as before, but with the guitars demanding more attention.

I already said that IRON FIRE got better with each consecutive release since “Revenge” (2006), but somehow – and that’s in a way a personal experience – hadn’t made an album that was really amazing, something you could play again and again without groving tired of it. Or not very soon, at least. As with any release that’s played a few times, you may desire to hear something else. But anyway, this time, with “Voyage Of The Damned”, I have to really congratulate Martin and co. for the work they’ve put into this new album. From start to finish, this is a very fine result they’ve achieved and I can now really say: this is heavily recommended! And most likely (again perhaps a personal thought) the best IRON FIRE album to date. But definitely one of the best releases of 2012 so far. They set the bar very high this time, but perhaps that was needed to show that not all cards were put on the table yet the past few years.



  1. The Dark Beyond
  2. Enter Oblivion OJ-666
  3. Taken
  4. Slaughter Of Souls
  5. Leviathan
  6. The Final Odyssey
  7. Ten Years In Space
  8. Voyage Of The Damned
  9. With Different Eyes
  10. Dreams Of The Dead Moon
  11. Verge To Collide
  12. Realm Of Madness
  13. Warmaster Of Chaos



Martin Steene – vocals
Kirk Backarach – guitar
Martin Lund – bass
Fritz Wagner – drums