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Iron Kobra -Dungeon Masters MC [with poster and badge]


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Official German tape. Black cassette with grey texture. With 2 posters, 2 stickers, red badge and one track not on the vinyl version

One look at a photo of Iron Kobra and you get an idea of exactly what kind of music they make. Lanky long hair, motorcycle jackets, scrubby looking moustaches. These guys day job is probably drinking beer on their porches while they smoke cigarettes funded by their royalties checks from portraying those bikers in that bar scene at the beginning of Terminator 2. I’m pretty sure the drummer is that dude Arnie threw onto that grill. It’s pretty much a mixture of a strong base of hard rockin old school heavy metal, with swinging grooves and bluesy solos, with, of course, a touch of German speed metal influence just for good measure. Think Manowar, Saxon, Accept and Deep Purple. For the most part things are kept extremely straightforward, without doing much that could really be described as flashy except for the very solid, sparks-flying lead guitar work. There are some kind of playful, adventurous bits, especially in the bridges of songs like Metal Rebel where we’re treated to some slightly more complex interplay between the two guitars while the rhythm section flirts with ideas just a hair outside of their usually workman-like demeanour. Workman-like is really the best way of describing this album. It sounds like these guys are just going through the motions, not because they don’t give a fuck and couldn’t be bothered to make everything sound as intense and captivating and fun as possible, but because this is just their lifestyle and it’s the only way they really know how to express themselves, so they just do it. Belting out tunes like Valhalla Rock is seemingly on par with eating, breathing or sleeping to these guys. A big part of that is not only the really natural, dudes in a room jamming out tunes feel to the music, but also how the subject matter veers back and forth between badass motor cycle riding rebels to singing about the orcs of Saruman’s White Hand fighting battles with absolutely zero sense of irony and zero recognition of how these seemingly disparate bits of imagery might be seen to be at odds to the outsider who doesn’t quite understand how closely entwined stuff like this can be. Are these a bunch of Demons And Dragons-playing, basement dwelling nerds who wish they were cool enough to ride around on motorcycles being hard asses, or are they a bunch of hard ass bikers who just happen to love nerd stuff? For anyone who can really get into this stuff, the answer is simply that it doesn’t matter. That said, there are songs that succeed more than others. My favourite stretch of the album has gotta be Black Magic Spells, which is just a ripping, roaring tune, followed by the galloping Ronin. The yelping vocals, which could come straight from some 70’s UK punk band (though you hear hints of German in the accent rather than a crude cockney), sometimes push into a scathing near-bark. Black Magic Spells threatens to constantly ride off the rails in its lunatic punky madness, and Ronin just has a rocking groove to it that just makes you want to throw up the horns for the duration of the song, nodding your head and shouting along to the chorus. Those vocals might actually be a point of contention for some people – they’re not particularly gruff, are far from super talented and are just sort of idiosyncratic, but if you can get behind performances like Tim Baker in Cirith Ungol or maybe the Brocas Helm dudes, than this should really not be a huge stretch for you. This is definitely a fun little dungeon crawl. Hardly the next big thing, and never did these guys really leave my mouth agape in rapture, but I can think of far, far worse ways of spending 45 minutes.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Dungeon Master
3. Valhalla Rock
4. Metal Rebel
5. Born Under The Tower
6. Heavy Metal Generation
7. Black Magic Spells
8. Ronin
9. Druids Call
10. Speedbiker
11. Thousand Fire City
12. Ronin-alternate version

Additional information


Dying Victims Productions

Release Year

Catalogue Number

DVP 26