ION VEIN: Self-titled: CD

After releasing two critically acclaimed albums with 1999’s Beyond Tomorrow and 2003’s Reigning Memories, and going through lineup changes has been the major reason why no new music hit the market for more than eight years. Now, after two digital E.P. releases, we now have the third full length album from the revamped quartet.

As six of these songs have appeared on those previous E.P.s, but now appearing as re-mixed/re-mastered versions, you might be thinking, why should I buy this release? You should because the album flows together, and the band simply kick ass on the new tracks. Ex-ENERTIA singer Scott Featherstone definitely has a more aggressive and grittier approach than the previous singer Russ Klimczak, which I think helps with the shorter, more hook oriented arrangements on this new album. Their power metal has gotten a bit heavier and has added a touch of more modern metal, but still retains everything that made earlier recordings a treat. Every song has power, thick bass, blistering guitar playing, killer drumming and the vocals that fit perfectly with the tighter, harder sound. Some of the highlights for me were, “Fools Parade,” “Enough,” “Face The Truth,” “Love/Hate,” “Anger Inside,” “The Will Of One,” and “Twist Of Fate.”

This album will get the power metal fans on board and with the heavier element, it should appeal to those who want more “heavy” in their metal. The band just keeps getting better and should be one of those groups that starts to garner more fans and attention and hit the higher echelon of metal bands.

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