With steel in hand and blood lust in their eyes, Iron Kingdom set out to conquer Detroit at the New Dodge Lounge.
Vancouver’s Iron Kingdom come carrying the heavy metal standard high with razor-sharp riffs that call to the founders such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Omen, and Jag Panzer. They are stopping for a night of metal anthems to support their new album On The Hunt at the New Dodge Lounge in Detroit. The new wave of traditional heavy metal is about to break upon the audience gathered here tonight.
The evening begins with a double-fisting of primal metal music from Die Laughing. To keep with the band naming theme this evening, we will call them Iron Laughing. The first thing you notice is the law of the riff. This band fills the room with one hook riddle riff after another. The pounding rhythms bring to mind a vicious beating in the ring from Mike Tyson. Pummeling riffs raining body blows followed by a time change smashing the brain like a haymaker. If you thrive for the meaty intensity of Helmet with the fire of early Mastodon, then you need Die Laughing in your life.
After a breather for a beer and perhaps a change of underwear, it is time for Iron Belly. This band strikes hard with “.50 cal” from their High Horse EP. The band radiates unfiltered raw metal rage. Each burly tune smashes like The Hulk on a rampage. Drums crack, bass punches, and guitars growl with gleeful menace. Visions of Godzilla destroying Tokyo fill the mind as Iron Belly sink their teeth into “Flailing.” The punk undercurrent of Iron Belly gleams with spite on “Hypochondriac.” For a good time at maximum volume, call Iron Belly.
It is time to put on your spiked armband, combat boots, and bullet belt and scream with Iron Kingdom. The first strike descends with “Road Warriors” from the band’s latest release On The Hunt. Guitarists Chris Osterman and Megan Merrick trade fretboard shredding licks with maleficence. Leighton Holmes holds his axe high as he howls at the crowd during a triumphant performance of “Paragon.”
Drummer Chris Sonea tears into his drum kit for an old school drum solo which would make Nicko McBrain proud. Chris receives no quarter as Iron Kingdom blaze into “Sign of the Gods.” This song captures each aspect of what puts Iron Kingdom into the vanguard of the new wave of traditional heavy metal; powerful and propelling rhythms backed with soaring vocals and guitars. This tune defines a headbanger.
With a short break, Iron Kingdom returns for an encore cover of the Scorpion’s “Big City Nights.” The intensity and brilliance of Iron Kingdom’s performance in Hamtramck is mesmerizing. Iron Kingdom embodies the power and the glory of metal music. Get to a show, raise your fists, band your head, and let the metal fury of Iron Kingdom consume you.