Metal Gladiator

Iron Curtain

"Metal Gladiator" is the fourteenth release from the Spanish thrash act, IRON CURTAIN. This one […]
April 8, 2023
Iron Curtain - Metal Gladiator album cover

"Metal Gladiator" is the fourteenth release from the Spanish thrash act, IRON CURTAIN. This one is a seven-track, twenty-three-minute EP. IRON CURTAIN plays old-school thrash akin to that of early MEGADETH. It's a fun EP that gets the blood pumping. The second track, "Burn In Hell," starts with a wailing lead guitar that wastes no time getting up to speed. The production is gritty, but not so raw that the quality of the music suffers. Again, this is a nod to the late eighties to early nineties thrash aesthetic. Both of the exceptional lead guitar solos should not be missed.

The title track is engaging and rewarding in a cheesy, MANOWAR sense. The lyrics are about a gladiator fighting in defense of heavy metal. Posers beware, IRON CURTAIN has a warrior defending the virtues of "real" metal on their side. This track is ambiguous about exactly what their titular gladiator is fighting against, but will no doubt sway anyone to their side by the time they begin chanting "heavy metal gladiator." "Stormbound" has great instrumentation, but unfortunate lyrics. There are lines describing thunder and lightning destroying the human race. The lyrics are off the charts cheesy, taking away from the excellent riffs and overall power metal tinged sound. That being said, the vocal harmonies during the chorus are somewhat of a saving grace.

The final track, "The Running Man," is about the story that Stephen King wrote using his pen name, Richard Bachman, where the song's namesake is forced to compete for his life against overwhelming odds on a television game show. There's even a sample from the movie adaptation towards the end of the song. The song itself is the same action-packed thrash that is featured on the entire EP. Fans of the story and film will likely be overcome with nostalgia.

"Metal Gladiator" is so unabashedly cheesy that it becomes confrontational, which makes for a great time when it works. Shamelessly derivative, this EP could have been released in 1992 to much fanfare. The lyrics are by no means high art and the instrumentation far from reinvents the wheel. "Metal Gladiator" is a treat for those who have fond memories of "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying." Thrash neophytes need not apply.

7 / 10









"Metal Gladiator" Track-listing:

1. Crossing the Acheron
2. Burn in Hell
3. Rattlesnake
4. Metal Gladiator
5. Rough Riders
6. Stormbound
7. The Running Man

Iron Curtain Lineup:

Mike Leprosy - Vocals, Guitar (Rhythm)
Joserra - Bass
Moroco - Drums
Juanma Fernández - Guitars

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