Rock and roll is deadly!

-- Ironborn --

Stijn Daneels

Album genres:
heavy metal
Album artists:
Tom Hugelier Vocals
Mario Van Laethem Guitar
Tom Deblauwe Drums
Jan Versnick Bass
John Mortelez Guitars, grunts


I've known the guys from Ironborn for the past two years. The first time I saw them play, they were just a cover band, playing iconic songs from famous acts like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Pantera and Metallica and more. However, in spring 2016 Ironborn confirmed to me that they were writing material of their own. And now, a year later, the guys had enough self-made tracks at their disposal to treat me and the other Ironborners (Is that even a word?) to a first EP. Let the shredding begin!


Ironborn's self-titled, independent debut EP features six tracks for about 27 minutes of playtime. An impressive length for an EP. For the opening track, Drifting Away, the band starts off peacefully for about a minute until the song transitions into Pantera-inspired guitar shredding. For the second tune, Never Again, Ironborn goes for a slower, traditional heavy metal track with clean vocals and crisp guitar. Just an old-school, catchy tune. However, things get faster and more aggressive when the third track, Your Downfall, comes around. A combative track inspired by 80s speed metal.

After that slice of speed metal you get treated to a badass instrumental and before Ironborn enters thrash metal territory with the Curse. And to wrap the EP up Ironborn unleashes a tribute song to the almighty Motörhead and the band's illustrious frontman Lemmy Killmister! And the song is written and played in true Motörhead fashion. So there you have it, a varied set that you can easily enjoy especially if you’re a fan of the bands Ironborn pays homage to in this EP.


Drifting Away is about a sailor trying to survive a ferocious storm in the middle of the ocean. Never Again deals with finding your own way in life and spreading your wings and fly, not looking back at the past and leaving behind those who attempt to hold you back. In Your Downfall, the narrator directly lashes out against a former friend who abused the narrator’s trust.

However, by far the darkest song on the Ironborn EP is The Curse. The song deals with sexual abuse and pedophilia in the catholic church, a topic that ran rampart in recent years especially here in Belgium back where the Josef Vangheluwe case caused massive outrage back in 2010. The story of The Curse is told from the perspective of one such victims. And I always get chills down my spine when Tom mutters the phrase: “Misplaced trust leads to holy disgust, innocence lost by your sickening lust!” Powerful!


On the frontcover we see Ironborn's fist emblem flying towards you. I strongly believe this silver-clad fist is a reference to Motörhead's album Iron Fist. And if that wasn’t enough, the Ace of Spades card on the inside cover provides another crystal-clear nod to the Three Amigos. But please, don't forget the Joker!


For those people who have already seen my music program the Metal Shredder Showcase the instrumental track Dawn of Destiny will certainly sound familiar. You know, dear reader, as soon as my ears were exposed to this epic track, I knew this would be a perfect theme song for my Showcase. It sounds heroic and gets me pumped to yell METAL SHREDDER REPORTING and get the Metal Shredder Showcase on the road.

That track aside, I'm a huge Motörhead fan, I attended a few Motörhead concerts and their signature anthem Ace of Spades was one of the first metal songs I've ever heard in my life. So of course, I've got to talk about Ironborn's tribute song to Lemmy, Rock N' Roll Is Dead! It's fast, energetic rock n' roll as if Lemmy himself would've written it. The main song’s main riff sounds familiar to that of Ace of Spades and the song's lyrics refer to such lines from such Motörhead classics as Bomber, No Class, We Are The Road Crew and Capricorn. A tribute worth playing louder than everything else!


While the opening track, Drifting Away, has badass guitar melodies and equally badass drum beats, it didn't reach its full potential. In the beginning of the track, John growls in between Tom's clean singing sections. It was a cool little duet that unfortunately never reoccurs in the song. That's too bad, because it would've offered a nice chance of roleplaying between the two. Since the song is about a sailor getting caught in the middle of a violent storm, Tom could've represented the seaman fighting for his life and boat while John could've acted as the voice of the storm, determined to drive Tom towards his doom.


8 Aces out of 10! Being an Ironborn fan for the past few years and having impatiently waited for this EP, I can safely say that this release was worth the wait! Ironborn have shown that they no longer need to rely solely on material from the past to get the crowds pumping. They play metal in many different flavors but all of them are great to bang your head to! No matter if you're old-school, new-school or any-school. And now it's just me sitting here waiting for more! Oh, that's right! I still got...


...a song for you to enjoy! Here's the EP's second track, Never Again!