IRON FIRE – To The Grave

IRON FIRE - To The Grave
  • 7.5/10
    IRON FIRE - To The Grave - 7.5/10


Napalm Records
Release date: January 12, 2009

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Every now and then we see the release of a Metal album that utilizes all the Metal clichés. The Danish Power Metalers (or is it True Metalers?) of Iron Fire have just released an album like that. For those unaware of this band it can be said that fans of Hammerfall, Dream Evil and DragonForce most likely will embrace this album. Most likely it will even bring a proud tear or two to the eyes of faithful Manowar fans.

Before we go on to talk about the album, let’s go back a few years and get to know the band from the start. The band was formed in 1995 under the name Misery, then changed it to Decades Of Darkness and finally to Iron Fire. They’ve seen a couple of line-ups since the start and if you include the five band members (they got another guitar player after the release of this album) that are in the band today there has been a total of 20 people playing in this band since 1995.

Only vocalist Martin Steene has stayed in the ranks all this time, and it hasn’t always been easy playing in Iron Fire. They started out great with their debut album in 2000, Thunderstorm, that also was the start of a long collaboration with producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, etc.). A year later it seemed that the music business turned their backs on Iron Fire and their second release, On The Edge. The label, Noise Records, also turned their back on the band and announced that they wouldn’t release their third full-length.

After an inevitable change in the line-up, Steene regrouped and returned five years later and released the third album, Revenge (2006), on a new label, Napalm Records. In support of the band’s fourth album, Blade of Triumph, the band went on a European Tour supporting U.D.O. and Primal Fear. After a few ups and downs the band has now released their fifth album, To The Grave.

The music can be said to be a mix of Hammerfall and Dream Evil with elements of early Edguy (before they became a Pop band). Those who are expecting an innovative turn in the Metal music are about to be very disappointed, but if you’re into the aforementioned bands you’re in for a real treat. This band delivers all the clichés of True Metal and words like beast, kill, Metal, battlefield, Odin, and demons are frequently mentioned in the lyrics.

To The Grave takes us on quite a pleasant ride through foreign lands as we hear stories of good versus evil, heroes and bravery. The album opener “The Beast From The Blackness” has catchy and memorable verses and choruses, and there are lots of “shouting-choirs,” typical for the genre. The same goes for the second track, “Kill For Metal.” These two, along with “The Battlefield” and “March Of The Immortals,” are among the most memorable highlights of the record.

Vocalist Steene’s voice has got both power and the necessary amount of passion for the genre, and he sings great. His performance is steady and holds the same high quality throughout the album. The guitars are mighty and they’ve utilized all the tricks the book holds, for instance there are a lot of great twin guitar harmonies on this album, and lots of epic solo work. Just listen to the solo on “The Battlefield” for a reference to a great guitar solo. The rhythm section is also steady and groovy as hell.

Tommy Hansen’s production is great as always, and the mix is rough and heavy. Unlike other producers in the genre, for instance Sascha Paeth, Hansen’s take on the music isn’t so polished that you sacrifice the power of the heavy parts for the sake of hearing every instrument crystal clear all the time. He balances on a fine line between a polished and a muddy mix that is just great and it brings out the best in the band.

To The Grave isn’t the most innovative album to hit the streets these days. In fact, it’s not innovative at all. But no matter what, this is Power/True Metal at its best. This one deserves a few spins.


Martin Steene –  Vocals
Kirk Backarach – Guitars
Martin Lund – Bass
Fritz Wagner  – Drums


  1. The Beast From The Blackness
  2. Kill For Metal
  3. To The Grave
  4. The Battlefield
  5. Cover The Sun
  6. March Of The Immortals
  7. The Kingdom
  8. Frozen In Time
  9. Hail To Odin
  10. Doom Riders
  11. Ghost Of Vengeance
  12. The Demon Master


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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