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Iron Mask - 'Diabolica' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/79/76/d4/iron-mask-diabolica-30-1481407115.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 10, 2016    
 
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Powerful, emotive, imaginative and forthright.

A Belgium-based Neo-Classical Power Metal band built around the firebrand fret-board pyrotechnics of Magic Kingdom guitar virtuoso Dushan Petrossi, Iron Mask made a rather dramatic entrance as long ago as 2003 with their explosive debut album 'Revenge Is My Name'.

At times, featuring some truly blistering riffs and solos, it took Yngwie Malmsteen on at his own game and to be brutally honest, based on the quality of its songs alone, it knocked the Swedish superstar's then current (and indisputably woeful) offering 'Attack' into a cocked hat. Very much Petrossi's baby, from what was originally just a side project put together in downtime from the aforementioned MK, Iron Mask has (perhaps understandably) gradually become his main focus.

Now staring down the business end of studio album number six, the menacingly named 'Diabolica' is the first album to feature new Argentinian vocalist Diego Valdez whom some of you may already recognise as front-man with Helker. Packed with nearly eighty minutes worth of Neo-Classically-infused Melodic Metal, 'Diabolica' certainly isn't for the faint hearted, but even after just one listen my first thought was "Malmsteen who?"... especially after the dud that was 'World On Fire' earlier this year!

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Being a picky old sod and a sucker for an extended workout, my attention was immediately drawn to closing track 'Cursed In The Devils Mill', a near fourteen minute long gargantuan riff and solo fest that really lets Petrossi open fire with both barrels! Valdez seems to be the perfect fit for the band at long last, his commanding, lower register, Rob Rock meets Mike Vescera styled Metal attack raising dramatic slices of angst – such as 'Doctor Faust', 'Ararat' (very Symphony X at times) and the remorseless 'The Rebellion Of Lucifer' – to hitherto unattained heights.

Powerful, emotive, imaginative and forthright, with 'Diabolica' Petrossi should finally start to reap the rewards his prolific talents so richly deserve.

Dave Cockett

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