I had heard of IRONWARE several years ago already, through a few mp3s and then completely lost site of the band. Now they have re-surfaced with LMP, with their debut album “Break Out”, it can go that fast. FRETERNIA singer Pasi Humppi and guitarist Niklas Möller founded the band in 1998, after releasing a demo called “Tales From A Twisted World“ and a MCD titled “Return Of The King“ they signed with the Hamburg based Power Metal brigade and with a production of Andy La Rocque and P-O Saether from the Los Angered and Underground Studios respectively they seem to be out with a head start.
Now when you hear LMP, then you almost automatically make the connection to Power Metal and also in the case of IRONWARE you are not far off, because undoubtedly this is the basic ingredient for the Swedes, even though they successfully incorporate some other elements into their sound.
After the obligatory intro “Gateway“ “Holy Man“ comes through mid-paced, with Pasi Humppi’s good, but somehow pressed voice (somehow you get the feeling as if he is about to hurt himself) and just good melodies and catchy chorus. “Dark Sun” breaks through the Swedish forests, again with very catchy chorus and also some keyboards in the back, while “From Deep Inside” is introduced by epic keyboards and altogether is more Melodic Metal, although picking up a bit later.
“Sanctuary“ comes through jaunty and fast, followed by the more epic “Saviors”, with stronger keyboards and a catchy chorus, which is just repeated a little often… All of them examples for almost exemplary catchiness and also good song writing, which is further proved by the following “Return Of The King”, more epic again, with piano introduction, then turning into a powerful midtempo, just to be underlaid with double bass in the epic chorus, strong song, no doubt! What is striking with IRONWARE is that they also break out of the usual Power Metal vein and introduce some Melodic Metal and Hard Rock, which becomes more evident in the guitars, as to be heard on “What Is Going On”, which I like a lot.
So what is the verdict I’m going to pass over IRONWARE’s debut “Break Out”? Well, it is not really original, but at the same time well written and well played, that the production is top is clear from the mentioned names already. That they do not only play the typical Power Metal is a definitive plus, but when you have read this, you will know anyway, if this could be something for you or not, the sheer quality of the songs definitely is there. (Online July 23, 2004)