Ironsword
Servants of Steel


3.8
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
January 27th, 2020 | 19 replies


Release Date: 01/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mark Shelton is still with us.

Mark Shelton’s loss in 2018 was a huge blow to fans of epic heavy metal. His ability to weave fantastic universes and draw listeners so effectively was one of a kind. The Shark was a great songwriter, an underrated guitar player, and a gifted lyricist. So the fact that Ironsword managed to recreate some of the legendary band’s magic is nothing short of amazing.

From the very first seconds, the album feels like watching a cheesy ‘80s Swords and Sorcery film, but “Rogues in the House” clearly reveals the Portuguese act’s intent to play some hard-hitting heavy metal. The cover art, combined with the subject matter of the songs which is taken from Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories, makes “Servants of Steel” a journey of epic proportions. Vocalist Tann’s delivery provides the necessary burly, barbaric touch, even though to some, his vocals might be an acquired taste or even a make or break point. Manilla Road’s, Hellroadie, also makes a guest appearance on here, and his voice fits Ironsword’s music like a glove. The production is very good, with a big sound, pounding drums, and an audible bass. However, the full sound combined with the energetic songs and the runtime might make the album a tiresome listen to some. That’s why some more calm passages here and there, or even a couple of slower songs like “Son of Crom” would help make the rest of the LP even more enjoyable. Besides Ironsword’s main influence, one can also hear Omen and early-Running Wild elements in tracks like “Upon the Throne” and “Tower of the Elephant” which shape the epic metal act’s sound and prevents it from being a copycat.

Granted, Ironsword is not for cynics, sadbois, and people who take themselves very seriously. But if you’re looking to fill the void created by the Shark’s ascension to Valhalla, there isn’t a better alternative out there. Fans of bands like Airged L'amh, Wrathblade, Battleroar, Ravensire, and, of course, Manilla Road will have a blast jamming Servants of Steel.




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user ratings (8)
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2020


11941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Mandatory listen for Manilla Road fans.

Digging: Gullinbursti - Mythical Metallurgy

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2020


8757 Comments


Stream:
http://almamater.bandcamp.com/album/servants-of-steel

Definitely need to listen, as I liked the previous album.

Digging: Muspellzheimr - Muspellzheimr

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2020


12510 Comments


Good short ol' ditty. Nice to the point review

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2020


13951 Comments


I have to start paying more attention to my country's bands.

Nice short review manosg. Even though I've never been a big Manilla Road fan, I'll check this out.

Digging: Sorcerer - Lamenting of the Innocent

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2020


11941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Appreciate the comments guys.



"Definitely need to listen, as I liked the previous album."

Yup. I'm a bit inclined towards this one but these guys have never made a bad album.



"Good short ol' ditty. Nice to the point review"

Thanks, Rob.



"I have to start paying more attention to my country's bands."

Same here. The only Portuguese bands I've checked are these guys, Ravensire, Desire and Moonspell.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2020


13951 Comments


I don't know Ravensire or Desire..need to catch up

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2020


11941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Ravensire also play a brand of epic heavy metal like Ironsword, so if you enjoy this album, you'll probably like those guys as well. Desire is a cool little death/doom band with beauty and the beast vocals. If you're into early Anathema, check them out.

Scheumke
January 30th 2020


1727 Comments


I play in a band with the current (last) drummer of Manilla Road, never knew they were that respected, pleased to see that. I was there at Headbangers when we heard he had passed away the day before right after their show, was pretty crushing.
Might give this a twirl as well as some Manilla Road, 'cus truth be told I've never listened to them lol.

Digging: Caligula's Horse - Rise Radiant

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2020


11941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Really, you mean Neudi? Any interesting stories that you can share dude?

Scheumke
January 30th 2020


1727 Comments


Yeah Neudi. Awesome guy and very funny, always a happy bloke. Had an encounter en route to a show in Austria. There was a big traffic jam to get across the border so we passed the time by using google translate talk (he German to Dutch, me the other way around) to see what kind of idiotic things it spew out. Was hilarious.

Gyromania
January 31st 2020


29913 Comments


"Mark Shelton is still with us"

Who?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2020


11941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Mastermind of Manilla Road. Ever checked them, Gyro?



That's a nice story, Scheumke.

Dimorphic
February 1st 2020


1300 Comments


""Mark Shelton is still with us"

Who?"

...

delet this cousin



Digging: Omega Centauri - Universum Infinitum

Nagrarok
February 5th 2020


8624 Comments


Manilla Road were great. Incredibly consistent band too. I might check this out if I can find it.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2020


19694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Ironsword is not for cynics, sadbois," lol'd hard at this manosg.



Checking this now, Conan vibes indeed.

Digging: Mrs. Piss - Self-Surgery

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2020


19694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this is alright for a few tracks then it guess a bit monotonous. Remind me a bit to an 80s metal Spanish band called Muro.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2020


11941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah, I can definitely see where you're coming from, and you have to be in a certain mood to enjoy this one a lot.



Speaking of Spanish bands, I was jamming Mago de Oz yesterday. Are they well-received in Spain?

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2020


19694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hell yeah man, really popular down there.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2020


11941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

haha they're pretty good, although I've only jammed La Leyenda de la Mancha



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