IRON ANGEL - Hellbound (Album)



Fate is a cruel mistress. With a legacy ridden with missed leaps, disagreements and death, the name IRON ANGEL is as synonymous with struggle as it is with speed metal itself. Re-igniting the band with one original member, Hellbound is their first full length studio release in 32 years. With 3 decades separating their previous era and the present day, Iron Angel can be whatever they want, and they want to be fast and German. Luckily, the new members in the band are clearly very into this idea, with few shirt sleeves and plenty of leather vests on the go.


Listening to their classic Hellish Crossfire and the divisive Winds Of War a number of things are clear. Original singer Dirk Schroder is a better vocalist than he was back then, with more confidence and the positivity of a true survivor. The new musicians who find themselves aboard this teutonic train have listened carefully to what went before, and have done their utmost to build on Iron Angel's legacy.


With a sharper production than ...Crossfire and a meatier one than ....War, Hellbound gets right in about it. Anyone expecting anything other than '80s-tastic rampancy will be sorely disappointed as the lads tear through 10 tracks of ballad-free, defiant metal, and if you've ever found yourself wishing early SAXON were tougher or JUDAS PRIEST had no slow numbers and more focus, you'll find yourself cutting the arms off your new Iron Angel T-shirt sharpish.


There's few lowlights on this album, being that it's exactly what you'd expect from the first seconds of 'Writing's On The Wall' to the last moment of 'Ministry Of Metal', but there's a couple of instances where the band are rushing so hard at the songs that they can't keep up with themselves. A minor complaint considering that it sounds like they're all going for it properly hard, and tracks like the mega-Priest of 'Judgement Day' and air-punching Accept-isms of 'Hell And Back' are textbook examples of robust, leathery metal.


It's very difficult for bands who've had as many people through the doors as Iron Angel to stay true to their original spirit without sounding like a karaoke affair or descending into a parodical state, but Hellbound manages to walk the line perfectly. Far from a session players' shredfest with some old boy up front, the musicians on here are at the perfect level of ability to make this record genuinely believable. Led by Schroders' righteous, committed vocals, the rest of the band treat the material with total respect, acknowledging this cult acts' origins, not tarnishing them with excessive pyrotechnics or needless modernisation. If this had been released in the late '80s, no-one would have thought it was an album from the distant future, and that's a full-blooded compliment.


Hellhound isn't a game-changer, an epiphany or new chapter in music, but it's something equally important. It's a genuinely, honestly, properly good speed metal record that takes the spirit of a band that never had a chance and brings them into the present day. The feeling this writer gets is that every musician involved in this album put the band first, their performances delivered for a greater good. The sadly departed Peter Wittke and Sven Struven would be truly proud of what's been accomplished here, and so they should. Ace.


Maximilian Behr - Drums 
Dirk Schröder - Vocals 
Didy Mackel - Bass 
Mitsch Meyer - Guitars 
Robert Altenbach - Guitars 



Writing's On The Wall

Judgement Day

Hell And Back

Carnivore Flashmob

Blood And Leather

Deliverance In Black

Waiting For A Miracle


Purist Of Sin

Ministry Of Metal



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