Today, I delve into the modernizing world of Ironheart, a promising electronic music artist hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. I was introduced to his music with his latest EP, Outremer, which was released on July 28, 2023, via the cinematic label New Dawn Collective, leaving his name in my memory.
Ironheart - Outremer EP [New Dawn Collective]
Today is the 1st of August, Schweizer Nationalfeiertag / National day in Switzerland, and on this rainy day in the mountains of Lucerne, I am writing about a new EP from the promising electronic music artist, Ironheart. His new EP, Outremer, has four songs with a concept of heavy historic Eastern vibes, derived from the story of the Crusaders’ journey to the Holy Land, their exploration, and battles.
The album opener is "Edessa," a 3:30-minute-long instrumental song that stands out for its big long build-up in its structure and build. The musical foundation here strictly follows Eastern medieval melodies, and everything else varies on top of this foundation. Ironheart accompanies the historic Eastern melody loop with his electronic drums, beats, female vocal effects, and eventually builds to the highest point with additional dubstep elements in the last part of the song. It is a simple song with powerful vibes that immediately takes you back to the memory that is associated with Eastern vibes. In my case, it was the Medieval Total War video games that I played a long time ago, which introduced me to the world of non-electronic soundtrack music.
The second song, “Antioch,” is also very much like the Medieval Total War game soundtracks, specifically reminiscent of Canadian-Australian composer Jeff van Dyck, and his work in Rome Total War and Medieval Total War II. You get to hear this familiar vibe once you start playing with a nation from the Middle East, which was done to give a better experience of the specific culture and environment of those nations. I realized after listening to Outremer a few times, Ironheart distinguishes himself from others with his unusual addition of dubstep elements and electronic beats to medieval folklore music, and this is exactly what you get while listening to “Antioch,” with a similar approach to the first song. The medieval Eastern melody becomes a foundation for the song on the loop, and we get to hear many variations of it while being broken into a million pieces by dubstep elements. It is rather like the live performance of a lead guitar player, playing long improvised guitar solos in live performances as opposed to Ironheart, who does something similar with his personal tools.
The third song on the album, “Eye of the Storm,” is accompanied by a female vocalist, Iveen. I used to listen to electronic music with talented vocalists with a similar voice to Iveen’s, and this song immediately reminded me of some good old-school DJ Tiesto and Morgan Page songs. I think Eye of the Storm has the highest commercial potential thanks to Iveen's beautiful soothing voice and brilliant performances.
Also, “Eye of the Storm” doesn’t necessarily maintain the heavy Eastern vibes that we hear on the first two songs, changing the theme’s direction to video game soundtracks that we usually get to hear in the closing credits part in fantasy games about heroism, love, and a warrior’s life. Still, the music has got so much folklore in it.
The album closer, “Kingdom of Heaven,” does follow the story with its title, bringing back Christian medieval temple vibes in its musical origins. It is the heaviest song on this album, with a massive electronic music structure of beats, builds, and resolutions accompanied by a Church choir of men singing medieval melodies in the background, which immediately brought back memories of the legendary band, Era, who taught the world the combination of rock and medieval music.
Norwegian-American producer Luke Anders Hyatt Credit: Unknown
On the other side of the coin, I also have to admit that I don’t necessarily listen to electronic music for various reasons, especially while doing my daily work or routine. I believe this music style serves a specific purpose that needs to be consumed in that specific mood and environment. After experiencing the “Outremer” album a few times in the last few days, I wasn’t satisfied with neither its concept nor its production.
First of all, I feel like the album incorporates familiar themes throughout as this music style doesn’t necessarily work in the same way rock or metal does. In my perspective, the music has to begin with originating a foundational melody that will inspire the rest while carrying authentic value as opposed to electronic music, where they sometimes build everything on an existing material. That’s what I felt.
Secondly, as far as I know, electronic music’s most important element is the bass sound, along with signature beats. Although Ironheart does something I haven’t heard before, as his interpretation of medieval elements deserves appreciation, it reminded me of 8-bit computer game soundtracks with its beat and melodic origins from the ’90s. The beat patterns usually followed patterns similar to 8-bit music that we used to hear from computer games, together with an influence in Ironheart’s beat sound character.
Lastly, the album sounded overly loud to me that I had to listen to it at volume 10/100. I am aware that it was a conscious decision as the Norwegian/American artist chose to express his feelings. Nevertheless, I didn’t have a good experience due to the general loudness and sound balancing issues that I found in the music.
Luke Anders Hyatt / Ironheart, artist photo Credit: Unknown
In conclusion, Ironheart’s EP “Outremer” takes listeners on a captivating journey with its heavy Eastern vibes and innovative fusion of medieval elements with electronic beats. While some themes may feel familiar, I have to admit that Ironheart’s approach and vision still manage to leave a lasting impact. For those who appreciate electronic music with a Holy Crusaders concept and Medieval vibes, “Outremer” is a commendable addition to your libraries. Thank you for reading.
released July 28, 2023
Introducing "Outremer" EP - an immersive musical odyssey depicting the crusaders' journey to the Holy Land, their battles, and exploration. Ironheart's intention was to capture the local musical flavors and the mystique of the Levant, resulting in powerful tracks that pay tribute to this significant period in history.
Released on cinematic label New Dawn Collective
New Dawn Collective started in 2015 as a promotional platform made by artists for artists. Today, New Dawn continues to serve artists as a label and media platform. Since New Dawn's conception we have strived to curate the best visually inspired music for our listeners. The difference is in what we do for our artists. We provide our artists with branding development, a robust network, music distribution and licensing. New Dawn curates by actively collaborating with our artists. We envision their vision and live their dreams, in order for you to see what they see.
Ironheart on the Web
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