Dushan Petrossi’s Iron Mask - Hordes of the Brave
Iron Mask, the solo band of Dushan Petrossi (guitarist and mastermind of the international act Magic Kingdom) is back stronger than ever with a truly great new album and line up – Hordes Of The Brave. The album combines majestic arrangements with mind blowing power throughout the 11 tracks on offer - all penned by Dushan Petrossi.
New vocalist Goetz ‘Valhalla Jr’ Mohre contributes incredible vocals reminiscent of Graham Bonnet or David Coverdale with Bruce Dickinson-esque touches. This unique voice combines the finest melodic qualities with an aggressive delivery. Guest vocalist Oliver Hartmann (ex-At Vance) adds vocals to 3 tracks: The Invisible Empire, Crystal Tears and Iced Wind Of The North (a duet with Mohre).
After a successful collaboration on the 2nd Magic Kingdom album (Metallic Tragedy), Dushan just had to work with Hartmann again due to their similar influences. The recording of the lead and backing vocals as well as the epic choir arrangements were done at Hartmann’s ‘Alive Studio’ in Germany. The music was recorded in Brussels throughout 2003 and the first half of 2004 (in ‘Iron Kingdom’ studio, and ‘Galasse’ studio). On the performances of Mohre and Hartmann Petrossi comments, “These two great metal singers contributed the right feeling and performances for these melodies, which are the best and catchiest I have wrote to date - destined to become live anthems”.
The metal scene’s hottest keyboardist Richard Andersson (Majestic, Time Requiem, Space Odyssey) is responsible for all the keyboards solos on ‘Hordes Of The Brave’. Andersson immediately accepted the job after hearing the material and contributed speedy, symphonic, classy yet melodic neo-classically-inspired work. The matching of Petrossi and Andersson has produced one of the finest pairings in neo-classical history, along with some of the most awesome fast, furious yet melodic soloing duels heard to date.
For the rhythm section Petrossi relied upon the rock solid rhythm section of Magic Kingdom. Vassili Moltchanov (one of the most respected bassists in Belgium) and Russian drummer Anton Arkhipov (famous for his work in thrash band Exhumator) deliver breathtaking technique and energy. In addition Anton studied at the Classical Academy in Minsk and possesses a good strength at orchestral arrangements.
The title ‘Hordes Of The Brave’ is a tribute to Alexander The Great, one of the greatest conquerors and warriors of all time. Despite being an arrogant and ambitious character he was full of respect for the lands he invaded and their people’s rights and races. As with ‘The Man In The Iron Mask’ an epic story has influenced Petrossi’s lyrics and music.
Didier Chesneau at ‘Melody Studios’ in Paris mixed ‘Hordes Of The Brave’ during August 2004 delivering a sound that is both loud and clear. Mika Jussila mastered the album at the famous ‘Finnvox’ studio in Finland.
‘Hordes Of The Brave’ is a marked contrast to Dushan’s other releases in that there are no instrumental tracks - only good old epic hard rock with excellent singers. Music fans can expect a lot of melody, baroque and a few progressive influences. Simply ‘Hordes Of The Brave’ is great song writing and 6 exceptional musicians – nothing more, nothing less.
On the subject of the music Petrossi says, “I’m doing the music I love and I don’t care about what’s in fashion or nu metal shit. Nor what’s original or not in the metal scene. Neo-Classical Metal has been deeply rooted in my heart and mind for years, so when I’m composing new material I do not think – “This is sounding like Yngwie