OPEN THE GATES:
By: Dan Brisebois
Yorkton, Saskatchewan will likely never go down as a hotbed of classic rock, but Iron Dragon has proven that isolation from the mainstream is sometimes the key to a record that's both refreshing and a pleasant surprise.
The band is comprised of Ryan Crouse and Sam Derkatch, and 2009's OPEN THE GATES is their second full length album, full of interesting and well-textured arrangements, and has been getting some attention at home, as well as abroad.
The all instrumental starts with "Prelude To The Gates." The ominous textures go into "Birth Of The New," where a looming bass solo is held together with some guitar riffs in the vein of Pantera, Anthrax, Iron Maiden and Metallica.
Other tracks like "The Gates Shall Never Burn," "The Fire Within," "Gates of Sand" and "To Forge A Legacy" show off Crouse's licks and a heavy industrial beat. But with acoustic arrangements tucked neatly in the middle of the tracks, they make the record one of the most unique on the Canadian circuit of the year.
"The Fallen Man" has a brooding, haunting feeling to the underlying keyboards and slick sound effects lingering in the background. "In Darkness We Stand" is probably the heaviest of the heavy on the record, with pounding rhythms and scorching scales.
IRON DRAGON " Open The Gates"
(Self - released) 2008.
Instrumental metal - CANADA
Iron Dragon is a Canadian band/project, brainchild of guitarist/author Ryan Crouse. He is also a owner and creator of "STAR VERSE" comics. With friend and bassist Sam Derkatch he has recorded an album "Open The Gates". This is his second effort, this time done as a fully instrumental album.
In some way "Open The Gates", is a sort of epic story/saga, where whole concept has promoted Ryan's interesting performing fields.But, this isn't a typical or classical guitar orientired metal issue. As a guitarist, Ryan didn' t show elements of virtuosity, but conceptually his album is full of often tempo or mood changes, as same as atmospheric or emotional diversities. We can not find well-known and established maniristical elements on his album, and all present things sounds also as a sort of musical experiment.It's also evident that "Open The Gates" accepts progressive influences, even that technically/productionally a present themes are poorly done. There are 11 tracks on album, and we can also threats them as a connective parts.
Finally, we can face it with interesting challenge, whose realizations deserve a listeners attention.
Rating : 7/10
IRON DRAGON is a two man project that consists Ryan Crouse doing guitars, drums, synths, Progressive Metal style. The guitars dominate most of the music through out the songs. They do add in some flavoring of Thrash & Power Metal as well. The songs are very involved, intricate & well structured. There is a lot of changed ups & all out shredding in the songs too. This is another band that the guitarist reminds me of Steve Vai, but this time only if he was playing in a Thrash Metal band. If there were vocals added to the music then these guys would have fit in perfectly with a lot of the bands from the late 80's & early 90's playing the same style. All guitar dominated music lovers should give this a listen!