Iron Curtain - Official Website

Jaguar Spirit

Spain Country of Origin: Spain

Jaguar Spirit
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: October 30th, 2013
Genre: Heavy, Speed, Thrash
1. Run, Hide, Fight
2. Jaguar Spirit
3. Satan's Race
4. Living On The Road
5. Get Out Of My Way
6. Rangers Attack
7. Highway Rider
8. Cheaper Whiskey Woman
9. Heavy Metal Nation

Review by Felix on February 25, 2024.

While listening to Iron Curtain's "Jaguar Spirit", it seems as if the sound of the early eighties is still an important source of inspiration for some musicians. The album has the same spirit as the first full-lengths of the Belgian Killer. This means that the Spanish four-piece offers no frills metal without integrating external influences. They like to set a brisk pace, but velocity does not appear as an end in itself. It is obvious that the band does not want to set a new speed record. This would not fit in well with the second main component of the album. Just have a look at the cover. Iron Curtain watch out that they do not neglect the necessary amount of nonchalance. Fortunately, they are able to combine speedy and casual elements in a skilful way.

In view of the traditional approach of the band, it goes without saying that the instrumentation only consists of electric guitars, bass and drums. Any superfluous knickknacks like keyboards, trumpets or cow bells are for wimps. Iron Curtain spit on those who chose to pose, if I may quote the like-minded Canadians of Razor. Therefore, lead vocalist Mike and his comrades focus on straightness and simplicity. Please note that I am not talking of primitiveness. This is something totally different. The band just knows how to master the difficult art of self-reduction. Better still, their compositions score with their energizing effect. The dynamic riffs and the intelligent use of minimal melodies prove that it does not take much in order to come out with attractive songs. This is not meant pejoratively! To compose simple but thrilling songs is an art in itself. Of course, bands like Iron Curtain walk a thin line. Whenever the riffs fail to achieve a supernormal level, the songs run the risk of having no effect at all. The guys from Spain seem to be aware of this danger and, fortunately, the majority of the pieces is equipped with lively riffs and restless guitar lines. The title track and 'Satan's Race' mark the best examples for the songwriting skills of the band. Anyway, almost each and every tune avoids corny tone sequences.

The lead vocals are raw. But Mike is also not afraid of offering some melodic lines, at least to some degree. He is occasionally supported by background vocals that do their job without delivering exceptional features. I guess they did not work meticulously on the vocals, but the spontaneous approach is highly enjoyable, too.

The bonus track of the CD is called 'Set The Stage Alight'. The attribute "bonus" has its justification, because the short tune (2:52 minutes) comes directly to the point. It accumulates in itself all the pleasant features of the band, speedy rhythms, restless and effective guitars and a brief melodic vocal line. Just like the regular tracks of the album, this bonus benefits from the clear, tight and appropriate sound. It avoids any kind of unnecessary additions. There is no question that the producer with the pretty name "Javi Bastard" has done a good job. All these factors lead to a very positive result. The team of Iron Curtain carries the flag of traditional speed metal and the guys seem to do it with passion and belief. Instead of preserving the ashes, they keep the fire burning. You do not need to be obsessed by that old-fashioned metal style in order to realize that this is a good thing. True speed metal freaks my add six percentage points.

Rating: 7.4 out of 10