Albums recollecting the history of a band, especially those released by bigger bands through huge labels, are usually a rather dull matter, as proven time and time again by record labels throwing out cheap collections of the respective bands’ most beloved tracks on a CD to make a quick buck. Sometimes those are complemented by a live recording or something of the sort to have the core fans grudgingly buy an album full of songs they already own on other releases just to complete the collection with the added bonus, which is usually not worth the money of the whole package.
I’m always pleased to see bands give their fans more bang for their buck with new songs, re-recorded tracks or otherwise unattainable tracks. And what do you know, that’s exactly what Iron Fire are doing with the celebration of their twentieth anniversary. As the band’s vocalist and creative mastermind Martin Steene admits, most of their songs are owned by past labels, so a pure best of was out of question anyway. Good for the fans, as Dawn Of Creation packs much more value than a simple best of.
New tracks are the thing which are most exciting for people who otherwise know all recordings by heart, and Iron Fire deliver on that. Besides a million unreleased demo tracks of various chapters of the band’s history, three completely new tracks found their way to Dawn Of Creation. The three songs “Dawn Of Creation”, “Redux (Coming Home)” and “The Other Side” all display Iron Fire‘s way of life throughout their twenty-year history well – you’ll find strong callbacks to their earlier true power metal time in the choruses and melodies, but there is also a certain thrashy punch as experienced on their latest record, 2016’s Among The Dead, to be noticed. The former power metal facets come out on top of the rather modern influences in those three new tracks, which should make fans of melodic power metal happy.
Like I mentioned, Dawn Of Creation features on its two CDs approximately five hundred demo tracks mostly unheard before. Some are renditions of tracks released under a different name subsequently (“Brothers United”: “The Demon Master” from To The Grave, 2009; “Jerusalem”: “The Kingdom”, same album; “Fire God”: “Beast From The Blackness”, same album) which, to be fair, are not that interesting as you can just listen to the final product, but most of the songs are unreleased material, a lot from the Revenge era, which many fans consider Iron Fire‘s best album to date, and the best thing about those demos is their phenomenal sound. As Steene puts it, “over the years studio technology has evolved so much that demos sometimes more or less become the final product just with a better mix”. As such, even the demos are as enjoyable as the new tracks since they feel the same. A bit more rough, but with a clean recording and great sound.
The same is true for three unaltered live tracks from 2012’s release concert for the same year’s Voyage Of The Damned which have not been heavily edited for release on Dawn Of Creation and thusly present Iron Fire‘s authentic, raw power metal energy brought across at live shows. If you order the album in time at Crime Records‘ shop, you will receive a bonus CD with a recording of their live show in Stuttgart, 2007, as support for U.D.O. and Primal Fear. It’s worth it, dare I say.
I could say a million more things about this album as the choice of songs and small anecdotes to tell about each of them is quite intricate, but I believe it is more interesting to experience the history and changes of Iron Fire yourselves by listening to this record. Iron Fire really deliver an unprecedented amount of value with this new album and its 28 tracks. In this way, with its interesting demo recordings and nerdy underground appeal, the Danish power metal heroes release an album that’s truly interesting for the fans; instead of a cheap cash grab like bigger bands (or rather their greedy labels) do which feature songs everyone has in their collection. I am looking forward to another twenty years (and then another fourty) of Iron Fire, a band that never disappointed once in their history of recording albums.