Edmonton, Alberta’s Ironstorm have crafted an EP that combines a lot of elements. Power metal, speed metal, melodic death metal, all of it rolled into something that sounds not only cohesive, but explosive. Lead vocalist Karli Romyn has a gorgeous set of pipes: melodic and technically solid, but with lots of inflection and personality. Offset by the more guttural vocals of guitarist Diego Fernandez, the result pulls the listener deep into the galloping, almost Maiden-esque structures of songs like “Revenant” and “The Watcher”.
Something that sets this EP apart even further is the production. The rawness of these recordings lends the band the kind of unique flavour that would have been lost with technically better production jobs. It’s a throwback to underground records from the 80’s, when the production styles gave each band a unique vibe. It may just be me, but not everything should be polished to perfection. Rough edges have their place too.
It’s not a perfect EP by any stretch. The 2 minute intro track is pretty unnecessary, and “Dreamons” is a bit throwaway compared the four other skull crushers present here. It’s just that there’s enough interesting and exciting material here to be able to overlook those little foibles though. Hell, even the live bonus track is a blinder, reminding me of Canadian contemporaries Skull Fist and Axxion. Ironstorm’s first recorded output is further proof that, right now, the great white north is fertile ground for high-quality traditional metal.