4 years on from the critically acclaimed "Hordes Of The Brave" Iron Mask are back with their most potent release yet in "Shadow Of The Red Baron". Home to a fine collection of melodic neo-classical tracks, this album is full of first class material from start to finish. Chief songwriter and guitar virtuoso Dushan Petrossi’s particular focus this time was to create superb songs first and foremost where the excellent musicianship only lift the music to an even higher level.
“Shadow Of The Red Baron” is home to 11 tracks which deliver melodic neo-classical metal yet is accessible enough for fans of traditional metal and power/symphonic metal to get into. Each of the 10 vocal tracks feature addictive vocal melodies in the verses and choruses. Dushan’s virtuoso musicianship is stronger than ever here serving up a feast of metal treats. The lone instrumental “Ghost Of The Tsar” offers up something different with its aggressive vocals used to compliment Dushan’s majestic fretwork.
Once again the stunning vocals of Valhalla Jnr are heard on the majority of the tracks whilst Oliver Hartmann has a guest lead vocal on “Dreams” as well as contributing to the backing choirs on the other numbers. New permanent drummer Erik Stout (Reign Of Terror) has added a solid backdrop to all tracks with Petrossi commenting “Erik is a real powerful drummer, I like his groove a lot, his tom files are like earthquakes, and he’s the perfect guy for the melodic tunes we have on “Shadow Of The Red Baron”. A new keyboardist in Andreas Lindahl (Narnia / The Murder Of My Sweet) is also present adding deft touches and fluid solos to the album whilts long term member Vassili Moltchanov still anchors down the bass. Finally Lars Eric Mattsson has a guest spot with his guitar solo being heard on the 3rd guitar solo on “Sahara”.
On the album Dushan comments, “Once again there’s a mix of epic tracks, melodic and neo classical numbers all with great musicians and vocalists, I’m very happy with the choruses of all songs, they stay in your head and this is really what I wanted. Nowadays it seems like bands have forgot how to write good songs, which is for me the most important thing”. The track
In the run up to the albums creation Dushan endured a long family member illness followed by the passing away of his mother, this affected the lyrics and this emotional aspect can be heard in “Forever In The Dark”, “My Angel Is Gone”, “We Will Meet Again” etc. However, there are also the expected epic stories for the likes of “Black Devil”, “Resurrection” and the title track. The album was produced by Dushan and mixed and mastered by Jen Bogren in Sweden at Fascination Street Studio (Symphony X, Opeth etc). Artist Eric Phillipe again produced a visually grabbing piece of artwork around the idea of the title track.