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'Fifth Son Of Winterdoom'
(AFM Records)
Release Date: 8th November 2013

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

iron mask

Before I even tackle the music on this album, you notice a decent album cover with some good artwork and you have to admire an album that is titled 'Fifth Son Of Winterdoom'. The memories of witnessing such grandiose titles of albums like 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' by Iron Maiden, or 'Keeper Of The Seven Keys' by Helloween are in the air.

Fronted by the experienced American vocalist Mark Boals, known for his work with Danish Melodic Progressive Rockers Royal Hunt and his work with Yngwie J. Malmsteen amongst other outlets, this Power Metal four-piece formed by the multi-talented Dushan Petrossi are now on to their fifth album which is hinted at within the album title.

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There are twelve tracks contained within this epic example of their brand of self-proclaimed Neo Classical/Power Metal to digest and after spinning this virtual CD several times it has longevity. From the opening song 'Back Into Mystery' with its evident hook-laden delivery, to the ten minutes or so of the title track until the final song 'The Picture Of Dorian Grey', your ears are exposed to a majestic and talented presentation delivered with the utmost conviction.

With their familiar European sound they keep the attention despite the length of the album. Tight performances from the drummer Ramy Ali and bassist Vassili Moltchanov are solid throughout proceedings. For me, the band shine brighter when the songs are shorter like on 'One Commandment' or 'Angel Eyes Demon Soul', but if you yearn the virtuosity and chemistry of a band that can take you on a musical journey and extend their musical muscles then the title track will satisfy.

The idea is to invest drama and texture in the music and to a certain extent the lyrics. Both of these areas are addressed with fine aplomb which isn't that surprising as they have just over ten years of experience in which to perfect these elements.

Despite a potentially tired song title, 'Rock Religion' works as it mixes the rough chant to a soaring melody, whilst 'Father Farewell' starts by introducing us to some melancholy guitar and slowly builds the tension as sentiment floods the lyrical department.

Two songs on this collection clock in at over the seven minute mark. The final song on the album 'The Picture Of Dorian Grey' is one of them whilst the intriguing 'Reconquista 1492' offers up some Spanish-style guitar for about a minute and twenty seconds before bursting into the distorted power house that is Iron Mask once more.

Whilst showcasing some familiar sounds like the odd Yngwie Malmsteen sounding guitar solo, or the overblown nature of European-based Power Metal plus the highly rated vocal display from Boals, this is soaked in excellent musicianship and clichés. If you yearn for some Rock music with depth in the musicianship department and don't place too much emphasis on lyrical output, and you're a fan of Power Metal in general then certainly check this album out.

There's a lot of tender love and care invested here and overall it entertains. The performances are top notch and will be well received by those who appreciate this area of the Universe of Rock. With the energy on show throughout, they are 'Like A Lion In A Cage'.

1. Back In Mystery
2. Like A Lion In A Cage
3. One Commandment
4. Seven Samurai
5. Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
6. Angel Eyes Demon Soul
7. Rock Religion
8. Father Farewell
9. Eagle Of Fire
10. Reconquista 1492
11. Run To Me
12. The Picture Of Dorian Grey

Dushan Petrossi - Guitar, lyrics, music, orchestral arrangements
Mark Boals - lead vocals
Vassili Moltchanov - bass
Ramy Ali – drums

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