This EP is one that has been available for a wee while now through Iron Griffin’s bandcamp page, but thanks to Gates of Hell Records and the efforts of that Italian label, ‘Iron Griffin’ is now getting a bit more of a push, hence the review you are about to settle down with, and hopefully enjoy. The musical creation of Oskari Räsänen, with the addition of the vocal talents of Toni Pentikäinen, the five songs that make up the release really do hail back to the early glory days of Metal with a capital “M”, where there were not a million and one sub-divisions and sub-genres, and men could wear striped spandex on stage outside the confines of a circus tent and not get put on a register!

After the appropriately entitled instrumental ‘Intro’, the EP proper starts with ‘Message From Beyond’, and after the first couple of melodic chords, it settles down into a pattern of near falsetto power vocals backed by a rumbling bass (hints of Harris? Yep!), pounding drums, and old school guitar heroics that are best delivered with a high top clad foot perched on the stage front monitors. The whole song sprints past in well under three minutes before blending into ‘Metal Conquest’, and you know with every beat that the lyrics of battle and myth would be delivered by the vocalist with a clenched fist clad in the finest of studded fingerless leather gloves.

Unabated and unashamed Iron Griffin continue to the ride upon a steed named “cliche” as they ‘Journey To The Castle Of The King’, before their quest to show their true metal warrior pedigree leads them before the ‘Lord Inquisitor’, and surely that figure will not find them wanting with their efforts to prove their worth from the opening King Diamond scream, through the galloping riffs, gang vocals, and to the last dying shriek!

No vein of classic old school metal remains untapped in Iron Griffin’s mission to pay homage to the pomp and posture of days of old, and frankly, in a music scene that is littered by the dark, grim, kvlt, and those who are too cool to bother smiling, this EP is a blast of old fashioned and unpretentious fun. No, it won’t win any awards for originality or technical fretwankery, but it will get many a long haired head banging when played live to an audience intent on enjoying themselves.

(7/10 Spenny)