Already known for his work in Mausoleum Gate, multi-instrumentalist Oskari Räsänen steps out on his own with his Iron Griffin classic metal project. The band’s first full-length “Curse of the Sky” finds Iron Griffin exploring the vast terrain of proto-metal with an added twist: New vocalist Maija Tiljander.
As Räsänen is quick to admit, the songs on “Curse of the Sky” were created in a vacuum. Since Iron Griffin is strictly his project and does not involve additional band members, Räsänen has to trust in his song writing instincts. The seven songs found on the album are a combination of trial and error, with Räsänen sometimes creating a new arrangement simply on the basis of a drum improvisation or from melodies and riffs he assembled over time.
In spite of his singular song writing approach, the songs on “Curse of the Sky” are multi-dimensional, taking the listener on a journey through the realms of ‘70s-inspired proto metal, where Räsänen’s progressive leanings merge with his love for allegory and storytelling.
Curse of the Sky is out on March 22nd 2019 via Gates of Hell Records. You can read our review of their previous self-titled EP here.
An experimental listen, Curse of the Sky is not a traditional metal album per-se nor is it so unusual that it is unlistenable. The progressive style sits uneasily on the mind as each track refuses to follow a set formula even when it seems as though that would be the better option.
One of the more obvious unusual elements are the high vocals that sit above the rawer riffs, drum beats and melodies. Maija Tiljander has a great voice; I’m just not convinced the two work together well.
There are moments that do stand out for the right reasons though. Such as the chugginess of Forgotten Steel, the dark melody of Lost Legion and old-school metal rhythm of the title track.
It’s a short album. Six tracks and one intro wrapped up with the longest of the bunch. The finale of To the Path of Glory. Something of an epic as it begins with folkish sounding melody and soft singing. Before kicking into a really rock driven rhythm and sounding more like an Iron Griffin song. The strongest track on the album and a good way to finish off a unique but flawed release.
Iron Griffin – Curse of the Sky Full Track Listing:
2. Reign of Thunder
3. Forgotten Steel
4. Lost Legion
5. Curse of the Sky
6. Dawn of Struggle
7. To the Path of Glory
Iron Griffin - Curse Of The Sky (Gates Of Hell Records)
The Final Score - 6.5/10