Re-formed in 2011 by Chris Osterman on guitar and vocals and Amanda Osterman on drums (you guessed it, brother and sister) with Leighton Holmes ‘Lefty Bass’ and Kenny Kroecher adding the excitement of duel lead guitars, Canadian ‘Traditional Rock’ band Iron Kingdom have arrived with their new album Ride For Glory, professing to be inspired by groups such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Blind Guardian, The Scorpions and Rush.
At this point, we’d be remiss not to mention Iron Kingdom’s performance on Canada’s Got talent 2012 but frankly any TV based talent show just perpetuates the talentless, inane ability of mindless individuals to dilute the assembly of exceptionally talented people who work incredibly hard to perfect their trade for their own gain and prostituted cash and takes us off topic!
Rant over. Back to the band.
Frontman Chris Osterman has the iconic look of a 1970’s/80’s ‘Metal God’, a veritable composite of 80’s accomplished Zeppelin rip-off merchants Kingdom Come (ironically a Google match) with ‘Cock-Rock’ leather pants and the voice to match; his strong vocals and the bands strong musicianship – including some Wishbone Ash-esque harmonies – do the job admirably throughout. However, you can claim to bring back the classic sounds of the 70’s and 80’s and you can claim a string of top metal bands as your inspiration but if the content and structure of the tracks are a composite of things gone by – and fail to bring anything new or imaginative to the table – then you are just a covers band playing all the right notes, just in a different order.
It’s undeniably great that Iron Kingdom are emulating the classics – and for that they deserve the continued support from an ever-growing fan base – but perhaps they should concentrate on harnessing the creative inspiration of their idols rather than merely recreating their sounds.
For their ethos we’d happily give Ride For Glory 10/10 but unfortunately they need to delve deep into the true psyche of Metal’s ‘Greats’ for this to really work. Hence our 6/10 score instead.