Words by Meghan Hall

Finland’s Iron Griffin offers an immensely enjoyable trip to the past with this wonderfully written and performed vintage metal album, Curse of the Sky is a must listen to for those who enjoy classic 70s metal with with elements of groove, swing and classical meshed together with an outstanding vocal performance that truly elevates the quality of this release.

Iron Griffin’s Curse of the Sky is a wonderful trip back to the past, with a wonderfully vintage sound that could have easily slotted in alongside the classic rock bands of the 1970s, with progressive rock leanings and a focus on lyrical storytelling that focuses on tales of swords and battles, creates a truly excellent listen that oozes with style in each track; with some light classical elements thrown in, the atmosphere of the story telling is further emphasised which paired creates an immensely enjoyable listen that wears the classic 1970s sound on its sleeve and leans into what made 70s prog with some excellently crafted arrangements that offer an incredibly sense of groove and style.

Prelude begins the album with classical medieval styled guitar riffage, which provides an enjoyable intro that sets the underlying tone of the album before leading into the title track.


Reign of Thunder kicks off the real groove of the album and offers the first we get to hear of Maija Tiljander’s vocals, which perfectly suit the instrumental styling and fantastical lyrical themes. Räsänen’s instrumental prowess offers a combination of groove and swing, with guitar soloing adding beautifully. Reign of Thunder shines the most with a catchy chorus, groovy beat and excellent vocal performance.

Forgotten Steel begins softly before quickly increasing in intensity and offering a groovy beat, the song is underpinned with a heavily groovy bassline and excellent acoustic guitar riffs that work incredibly well in tandem with the fantasy inspired lyrics.


Lost Legion begins with a beautiful soft melody, that is wonderfully complemented by soft vocals and a sense of foreboding instilled by the lyrics before the intensity of song kicks into rhythm, while mellow, is permeated by the sense of foreboding created by the lyrics and further emphasised by Tiljander’s vocals, which are underpinned excellently by the instrumentals, with the swing and groove making Lost Legion a truly excellent song.

Curse of the Sky begins with some truly groovy old school style riffage,

Räsänen’s guitar work shines more brightly on this track with some excellent riffage and catchy hooks which are only further lifted by Tiljander’s impressive vocal performance, Tiljander’s high notes truly lift the quality of the title track.

Dawn of Struggle: carries a riff reminiscent of Di’Anno era Iron Maiden. The opening riffage leads into one of the faster tracks on the album, which due to the excellent instrumental, the vocals and instrumental work phenomenally well on this track due the sheer stylishness of the swing and groove underpinning the instrumentals, as well as Tiljander feeding off the instrumental swing and groove. The quicker rhythm of this song works brilliantly in showcasing the nuance and subtlety of the instrumental performance, with a truly organic feel, that is mirrored by Tiljander’s once again excellent performance.

To the Path of Glory: a more mellow track that offers some slow build up and impressive, Tiljander’s vocals sets the tone perfectly, with the guitar underscoring the foreboding feeling emphasised in the lyrics. While a more mellow song, To the Path of Glory offers an excellent close with its soft but foreboding intro, lyrical storytelling and groove laden instrumentals. The song closes with almost a galloping beat that finishes the album with style.


Overall, Iron Griffin’s Curse the Sky is an immensely enjoyable vintage rock style album with elements of prog and slight classical influence interwoven with lyrical storytelling, combining elements of groove and swing, the subtlety and finesse are what truly makes this album shine. Iron Griffin perfectly captures the tone of 70s groove and the sense of mellow rock and proto-metal that leans into music written by instinct and played with a style and confidence that is complemented to perfection by the vocal performance of Maija Tiljander. The nuance and subtlety in Tiljander’s vocal performance lifts what is already immensely enjoyable stylish instrumentals to new heights, as Oskari Räsänen’s improvisations and arrangements are complemented to perfection by Tiljander, and vice versa with the vocals and instrumental performances feeding off each other which culminates in the wonderfully charming, incredibly vintage and stylish Curse of the Sky.



1.

Prelude
2.Reign of Thunder
3.Forgotten Steel
4.Lost Legion
5.Curse of the Sky
6.Dawn of Struggle
7.To the Path of Glory

Get the album on Bandcamp HERE