Ironflame is the brainchild of West Virginia/Ohio metal scene veteran Andrew D’Cagna. Mr. D’Cagna is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who is involved in a lot of bands in a lot of genres of metal. Ironflame was born out of an idea for a tribute album to a lost friend and colleague of D’Cagna’s but blew up into a true metal monster that will satisfy any true metal warrior. The debut album, Lightning Strikes the Crown, is thirty nine minutes of old school metal charm. This album has everything a metal head needs; fist pumping anthems, serious riffing, blazing solos and killer melodies. This album instantly became my new favorite album and I have been listening to this album for about seven months since first hearing it; with the added bonus of seeing Mr. D’Cagna’s live version of his creation open for Argus in December, so I think I’ve dissected this album in every way possible and the result is always the same…metal as fuck!
“Firestorm” kicks things off and lives up to it’s name. The perfect album opener in true metal fashion, it’s speedy and riff laden with hooks that are infectious. The vocals shine through here as D’Cagna has a unique and fresh voice that adds the perfect amount of melody to the music. The choruses are huge and the solos, which were the only thing on this album was not performed by Mr. D’Cagna, are fucking godly. “Marching On” is a mid paced fist pumper that has some killer riffs and dual leads. Once again, the melodies on this song are incredible and just add to the sheer brilliance of the song. The solo on this song seems like a separate event but works to add a different dimension to the song and just comes out sounding incredible. One of the reasons this album is so addictive.
As I said earlier, this choruses are some of the best in metal today. Songs like “Gorgon” and “Heavy Metal Warriors” have those killer choruses that become instantly familiar and you will be singing along by halfway through the song. The addition of the harmonized leads during the chorus of the latter is brilliant! The solos are blazing as usual. The second half of the album just keeps the momentum going. From the riff heavy “Eternal Night” to the closer, “Shadow Queen,” you get non stop metal perfection. “Fallen Glory” needs special mention. More of an anthem than a ballad, this song is the reason for the whole album. Seeing the band perform this song live, you could feel the emotion behind this song.
As I said earlier, this album was instantly my new favorite album and it just keeps getting better with each listen. The album just oozes metal from beginning to end. All of the elements of a true metal classic are in this album. The fact that the songs are so good just tops it off. D’Cagna’s songwriting abilities and his amazing vocals are showcased here and the result is an album that is essential for any metalhead’s collection.