Iron Mask - 'Fifth Son Of Winterdoom'

LINE-UP:
Dushan Petrossi - all electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, orchestral samples, & bass
Mark Boals - vocals
Vassili Moltchanov - bass
Andreas Lindhal - background keyboards & keyboard solos
Ramy Ali - drums

 


TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) "Back Into Mystery" -The pre-intro to this track opened with a simple keyboard chord.  Andrea held down the chord through the entire pre-intro.  Over the top of the Andreas's keyboard chord Dushan played a minor lead guitar solo.  This solo comes out of only the left speaker.  Dashan either used an echo effects pedal or double-tracked this minor solo.  This double-tracked echoed solo came out of only the right speaker.  This recording technique gave the intro an amazing sound.  Underneath the minor lead guitar solo and keyboard Ramy played little cymbal accents on both his ride and crash cymbals. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the pre-intro with the main intro section.  The entire band kicked-in for the main musical intro.  Over the top of the main musical intro Dashan plays the same minor guitar solo as the one he played for the pre-intro section.  This minor solo was double-tracked with the same solo only with a delay.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse.  After each lyric line there was a short drum fill connecting it to the next lyric line.  For the first couple of lyric lines the rhythm guitar was kept fairly simple letting marks vocals carry the verse.  It is not until the last lyric line underneath Marks vocals were Dashan begins playing the minor solo of the intro were the focus falls on the music arrangement again.  The choruses had a huge musical and lyrical hook.  As the drum line for the musical chorus progressed Ramy switched from a single bass drum pattern to a double bass drum pattern.  This double bass drum pattern added a lot of intensity to the chorus.  There is a minor solo in between the first chorus and its repeat.  After the second chorus Dashan plays two lead different major lead guitar solos.  These solo are very reminiscent in sound to Yngwie Malmsteen.  Underneath the guitar effects of the coda there are small keyboard notes.  It sounds like these notes are the same notes of the minor guitar solo however; I am not sure.
2.) "Like A Lion In A Cage" - This intro opens with a heavy influenced classical Malmsteen lead guitar scale. After the lead guitar scale the full band plays a eighth note.  This eighth note leads to the special effect of a lion's growl.  After the growl Dushan plays the same lead guitar scale as the one he played earlier in the intro.  Following this second lead guitar scale there is a series of eighth notes. Dushan carries out the last note of the pre-intro.  The twin rhythm guitar attack of the main intro gave it a very intense feel.  Connecting the intro with the musical verse there is a long keyboard solo.  As the solo progresses, Dashan turns it into an electric guitar.  Underneath this keyboard section there are several musical accents.  There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  The rhythm change for the musical pre-chorus along with the lyric lines gave it a sweet hook.  The drum line of the chorus consisted of a very intense double-bass drum pattern.  There is a small lead guitar scale connecting the chorus with the second verse.  Underneath the second lyric line of the second verse Dushan plays the same notes on lead guitar as the same notes mark is singing.  The solo section after the second chorus may very well be one of the best-structured solo sections I believe I have ever heard.  The solo section consisted of a harpsichord solo scale, harpsichord/ lead guitar solo scale, harpsichord/ lead guitar solo scale, harpsichord/ lead guitar solo, and then finally wrapping the section up with a major lead guitar solo and keyboard solo.  The coda ended on a Mark Boals vocal line with Ramy playing cymbal crashes on the accents.  The song ends with the effects of a lions growl.
3.) "Only One Commandment" - This track opens with a drum line.  At the first measure there is a snare drum fill that kicks the rhythm guitar arrangement in.  The rhythm guitar arrangement Dushan wrote for this intro had an early metal sound to it. After the fifth measure Dushan triple-tracked a minor lead guitar solo.  This minor lead guitar solo was heavily influenced by Dave Murry, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers (Iron Maiden).  It is so close to their sound that if one did not know any better they could argue the point that this was either an Iron Maiden song or the three guests appear on this release.  There was a small rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  The lyric arrangement along with Mark's vocals gave the chorus a very sweet hook.  On the chorus when it is just Mark singing his vocals take to an early Michael Sweet sound.  The minor solo over the top of the intro also connected the first musical with the second musical verse.  After the second chorus there was a double-tracked twin lead guitar solo.  This solo was very short and simple.
4.) "Seven Samurai"- This track opens with the ring of a huge bell.  The pre-intro consisted of an echoed keyboard arrangement. There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the main intro.  The main intro had a very intense feel to it.  There was a rhythm change for the musical verse.  The choruses of this track had a classic progressive metal sound to it.  There are lyrics were Mark will carry the note out showing his not lost any vocal strength at all.  After the lead guitar solo the musical arrangement got real intense.  All in all this was a straight forward Progressive/Metal song.   
5.) "Fifth Son Of Winterdoom" - This track opens with the special of; wind, someone walking in the snow, the sound of wolves howling and a baby crying.  The musical intro opens with what sounded like two different Irish flute arrangements.  Every now and then as the musical intro progresses you can hear a baby laugh.  There is a snare and tom-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  The opening musical verse consisted of a minor lead guitar solo.  In many ways, the minor solo sounded like a Country's national anthem. If I am not mistaken this solo section was double tracked giving it a twin lead guitar sound.  The rhythm guitar kicks-in underneath the opening lyric line of the first verse.  The rhythm guitar had a very simple feel to it.  There were several cymbal accents underneath the musical arrangement of the chorus.  There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  The second lyric line of the second was double-tracked.  After the second chorus there is a breakdown section.  Over the top of this breakdown section there are several lead guitar licks strung together to make a solo.  After the breakdown there is a bass/lead guitar solo.  As this progresses the lead guitar solo gets more intense.  Part of the solo was double-tracked.  There was a backing vocal accent over the top of this double-tracked lead guitar section.  I know progressive artists are known for writing these long opuses however; Dushan could have shaved about two minutes off this ten-minute song by shorting the lead guitar solo section.
6.) "Angel Eyes, Demon Soul" - This track opens with the sound effect of a woman's laughter.  There was a double-tracked twin lead guitar solo over the top of the intro arrangement.  As the musical intro progressed Ramy switched from a single bass drum pattern to a double-bass drum pattern.  The musical and lyrical  arrangements of the verse gave it a classic eighties metal sound.  Mark double-tracked his lyric lines for the musical verse.  In between each lyric line of the musical chorus there is a minor lead guitar scale.  All three scales are the same guitar scale.  The second chorus consisted of the same guitar scales as the first chorus.  There is a lead guitar solo connecting the second chorus with a breakdown section.  There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the last chorus of the coda.
7.) "Rock Religion" - This intro opens with a keyboard arrangement.  For the life of me, I cannot think of the keyboard effect name.  However, I will say it has the sound of a popular 16th Century piano.  On the other hand, that is what it sounds like to me anyway.  As the intro progresses the guitar, bass and drums kick-in however, they are mainly accents. There was a very cool little arrangement change connecting the intro to the musical verse.  Outside of the modern metal scream of the chorus it would have a nice hook.  However, this modern deep scream ruined the song for me.
8.) "Father Farewell" -This song was written and dedicated to Mr. Petrossi Dusham's father who passed away last year.  I can sum this song up in two words, purely amazing!!!!
9.) "Eagle Of Fire" - This intro opens with a snare drum and tom-tom pattern.  The rhythm guitar opens with a pick slide effect.  As the first pick slide progresses a second pick slide begins.  These pick slides lead to a minor lead guitar solo.  it sounded as if Andreas was playing the same keyboard arrangement as the minor lead guitar solo.  The rhythm guitar underneath Mark's vocal lines of the verse is playing lead guitar notes instead of rhythm guitar notes.  Underneath the lead guitar notes Dushan double-tracked fill-in chords to give the guitar track a more full sound.  There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  Some of Mark's lyric lines of the second verse were double-tracked.  There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lyric lines of the second chorus this lead to the major lead guitar solo.  The major lead guitar solos were two different solos one atop of the other.  The twin lead guitar solo was very reminiscent in sound to Vinnie Vincent (former Kiss and Vinnie Vincent Invasion guitarist).
10.) "Reconquista 1492" - When comparing this track to the other eleven it really does not fit in with what I feel Iron Mask was trying to accomplish on this CD.
11.) "Run To me" - Over the top of this intro the first four lead guitar scales are the same scale.  Then for the fifth scale, he changes it adding more notes.  After this fifth scale, there was a repeat.  At times underneath the guitar playing the scale you can hear a second guitar playing the same scale.  There is a drum fill connecting the intro with the musical verse.  There is a minor lead guitar scale in between the third and fourth lyric line of the first verse.  There was a small arrangement change for the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh lyric lines if the first verse. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  There was a minor solo connecting the verse chorus with the second verse.  Mark sings several vocal accents over the top of the minor lead guitar solo.  After the second chorus there is a blistering lead guitar solo.  There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lyric lines of the coda.
12.) "The Picture Of Dorian Grey" -
( 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on June 20 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine.
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil was impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's worldview. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than him. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, and when he subsequently pursues a life of debauchery, the portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of ageing.
'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is considered a work of classic Gothic fiction with a strong Faustian theme.)

***Editor's Note*** This book is an absolute must read.

The rhythm guitar that opens this intro was done with an effects pedal.  After maybe a measure, the rest of the band kicks-in.  Underneath the lead rhythm there is a second rhythm guitar arrangement.  This second guitar is mainly playing accented chords for the cymbal crashes.  The drum line consisted of cymbal crashes and tom-tom fills.  For the musical verse there is a drastic intense musical change.  For me, as a drummer the double-bass drum pattern is what made the verse.  The chorus was cool as hell!  There was a minor lead guitar connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a breakdown section.  This breakdown section leads to the lead guitar solo.  The lead guitar solo started out as a single guitar solo however, it quickly turned to a twin lead guitar solo.  After the twin lead guitar solo there is what sounds to be a bass solo.  After the bass solo the band kick back in and speed the song up.  This is a weird musical arrangement that leads to a lead guitar/keyboard/twin guitar/all three for the solo section.  After the solos, the band slows the music back down.  This was an amazing song idea!!!   


      Before I get into the breakdown of the release I would like to say that I feel though Iron Mask is pegged into the Power Metal genre their more of a cross between the power metal and the neo-classic heavy metal genre's.      
      Since Dushan Petrossi forming Iron Mask in 2002 'Fifth Son Of Winterdoom' is fifth CD the band has released.  This is also the second release that features Mark Boals on vocals. (Mark Boals is also featured on the Iron Mask release titled, 'Black As Death' released 2011)
    The focus of the twelve tracks is mostly neo-classical metal that was mainly inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen.  Take the opening minor solo on track two, "Lion In A Cage" as an example.  I even felt most if not all of Dushan's rhythms and solos are definitely a lot tighter and better than anything he has released in years.           However do not be fooled not ever solo sounded like Malmsteen.  There was a one song titled, "Only One Commandment" that consisted of a triple-tracked guitar solo!  One could say that it was Dave Murry, Adrian Smith and Jannick Gers of Iron Maiden playing the solo.  My biggest surprise was the final track titled, "The Picture Of Dorian Gray".  The guys done author Oscar Wylde probably more justice than the 1945 movie did. (Though the movie was good)
     For essential fans of artists such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Iron Maiden, or Dio.