IRON MASK – Master of Masters

IRON MASK - Master of Masters
  • 8.5/10
    IRON MASK - Master of Masters - 8.5/10


AFM Records
Release date: December 4, 2020

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Mastering Classical Metal

Belgian Symphonic Metallers Iron Mask are back with the follow album up to 2016’s Diabolica, lead by guitar virtuoso and mastermind Dushan Petrossi (Magic Kingdom). Petrossi started the band as a side project 20 years ago, since then building it into the full band that has grown and matured into a full blown heavyweight in the Symphonic metal scene. Over time the lineup has changed with the constants being Petrossi, who is joined by Vassili Moltchanov (Magic Kingdom) on the bass with Ramy Ali (former – Evidence One) returning on the drums. The vocals are deftly handled by fresh recruit Mike Slembrouck, a long time fan of the band who brings his own kind of magic to the sound.

Finding the Passion

2020 has been a strange year for the music business, and composer/founder Petrossi has outdone himself on the new release Master of Masters with 12 new songs that shine with passion and melody. On writing the new album, Petrossi stated “All stars aligned like never before, I managed to write the best material of all time for us. Everything went so easily and smoothly, it was directed by the gods themselves. Not to mention the face to face vocal recordings that breathed unique life into these twelve new tracks. After almost 20 years, seven albums and with fans all over the world, we finally feel like a real band”. The new album was self-produced by Petrossi at Iron Kingdom Studios in Brussels, continuing the tradition of keeping total control of his own creations and making a damn good album by doing so.

Stand Out Tracks

As to be expected, the opening cut “Never Kiss the Ring” fires on all cylinders right out of the gates with strong anthemic themes, broken up by a range of different drum beats and tempo changes. “Tree of the World” has a 6/8 Celtic theme that perfectly fits the concept and lyrics, while Petrossi delivers a fantastic solo that shows off his neo-classical technique to great effect. Another contender for top track is the manic “Nothing Lasts Forever” that echoes of classic Power Metal with it’s high speed riffing and giant chorus, accented by the thrilling guitar work of Petrossi. The energy throughout the 12 songs is high, as the album moves along at a nice clip without tiring the listener with too much sameness.

Final Notes

7 records in and Iron Mask shows no signs of slowing down as each album seems to just get better and better. The production is top notch, the songs are well written and performed. The vocals are strong with Mike Slembrouck fitting in perfectly to the sound of Iron Mask. There are a few slower tempo tracks that maybe don’t shine as brightly, but overall it’s a great listening experience that is more than worth the investment. If you are looking for great Neo-Classical Metal with catchy hooks and strong melodies, look no further.

Band photo of Iron Mask by Jens Devos

Photo by by Jens Devos


Dushan Petrossi – guitars
Mike Slembrouck – vocals
Vassili Moltchanov – bass
Ramy Ali – drums

Master of Masters – Tracklist

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


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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