"Iron Griffin"

By Colonel Angus

Those of you familiar with Mausoleum Gate should be familiar with the name Oskari Rasanen.  He is the drummer for that band but here, he is the whole band (except vocals).  While this is only an E.P., it certainly shows a raw potential for future releases. The disk consists or five tracks but really only four songs.  The intro that starts off the album is really just that, a small little intro that sets the mood.  Once “Message from Beyond” kicks in, the record brings back memories of the early 80s metal scene.  The tune possesses that same urgency and hunger that many of the metal bands back in the day would incorporate into their opening tracks.  “Metal Conquest” flows right out of the opening cut and slows things down a bit but still has a nice gallop to it.  The production so far has a nice raw element to it giving the songs an older feel.  It certainly is not the production values you would get with a new Iron Maiden record but these tracks benefit from this “no frills” sound.  The next tune “Journey to the Castle of King” starts off a bit slow but builds into another traditional NWOBHM-type tune.  This disk ends with the epic track “Lord Inquisitor” which is also the longest tune on this E.P. clocking in at a little over six minutes.  Toni Pentikainen (the other member of this project) really shines here with some great King Diamond-esque screams giving it a bit of a Mercyful Fate feel. 

Iron Griffin may only be a side project but I feel there is a lot of potential to make a full length record.  I realize that Rasanen handles all the instruments here and that may lead to some limitations but based on his performance as a guitarist and bass player, he does possess the necessary chops to do a full-on release.  Plus, the song writing, while not extremely original, harkens back to the glory days when heavy metal was in it’s infancy.  On top of all that, I have to give Rasanen additional credit for painting the cover art which also reminds me of those older metal titles.  All in all, I would recommend Iron Griffin but something tells me that we may have to wait a while due to Rasanen’s primary outlet.