Iron Mask was formed by Dushan Petrossi, Belgium’s number 1 guitar hero. Dushan got his first guitar when he was 9 (1982) and never stopped playing for 20 years. Very early, he played in several cover bands till the day he wanted to compose his own music. At the age of 15,he composed his very first heavy metal song then he played with a lot of different bands in Belgium. Dushan Petrossi is also known as leader of the international speed symphonic prog metal band Magic Kingdom .
Dushan signed with Lion Music in early 2002 to record a side project Iron Mask. The band’s name and some songs of the album are also based on the famous book ‘The man in the Iron Mask’ by Alexander Dumas. Great melodic power metal music is what you will get from this band, Dushan’s guitar playing is influenced by a lot of different musicians and composers like Handel, Verdi, Paganini, Mozart. This album was titled 'Revenge Is My Name'.
The opening song of the album ‘Enemy Brother’ is Handel‘s Overture arranged for electric guitar by Dushan, recorded with a real string section. Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Romeo, Michael Schenker and Gary Moore are Dushan’s electric influences.
Dushan‘s got his own style of playing and to compose music is what he likes most mixing his influences to create his own universe which combine melody, energy, fantasy, virtuosity, epic lyrics and incredibly fast soloing, he’s one of the best guitar player of the new generation. Bass was recorded by Vassili Moltchanov (also in Magic Kingdom), who played with the famous Russian band Master in the 80’s . The vocals were recorded by Phil Letaw (ex-Cryme), a perfect mix between Dio and Mark Boals. Keyboards recorded by virtuoso Youri Degroote. If you like good catchy metal songs with a shred attitude then The Man In The Iron Mask is for you.
Dushan then set about recording the Scorpions track 'Yellow Raven' for Lion Music's Uli Jon Roth tribute Beyond Inspiration as well as recording a inspired interpretation of the Rainbow classic Gates Of Babylon for Lion Music's' Ritchie Blackmore tribute Blackmore's Castle I.
Iron Mask then returned in April 2005 back stronger than ever with a truly great new album and line up on Hordes Of The Brave. The album combines majestic arrangements with mind blowing power throughout the 11 tracks on offer - all penned by Dushan Petrossi.
New vocalist Goetz ‘Valhalla Jr’ Mohre contributes incredible vocals reminiscent of Graham Bonnet or David Coverdale with Bruce Dickinson-esque touches. This unique voice combines the finest melodic qualities with an aggressive delivery. Guest vocalist Oliver Hartmann (ex-At Vance) adds vocals to 3 tracks: The Invisible Empire, Crystal Tears and Iced Wind Of The North (a duet with Mohre).
After a successful collaboration on the 2nd Magic Kingdom album (Metallic Tragedy), Dushan just had to work with Hartmann again due to their similar influences. The recording of the lead and backing vocals as well as the epic choir arrangements were done at Hartmann’s ‘Alive Studio’ in Germany. The music was recorded in Brussels throughout 2003 and the first half of 2004 (in ‘Iron Kingdom’ studio, and ‘Galasse’ studio). On the performances of Mohre and Hartmann Petrossi comments, “These two great metal singers contributed the right feeling and performances for these melodies, which are the best and catchiest I have wrote to date - destined to become live anthems”.
The metal scene’s hottest keyboardist Richard Andersson (Majestic, Time Requiem, Space Odyssey) is responsible for all the keyboards solos on ‘Hordes Of The Brave’. Andersson immediately accepted the job after hearing the material and contributed speedy, symphonic, classy yet melodic neo-classically-inspired work. The matching of Petrossi and Andersson has produced one of the finest pairings in neo-classical history, along with some of the most awesome fast, furious yet melodic soloing duels heard to date.
For the rhythm section Petrossi relied upon the rock solid rhythm section of Magic Kingdom. Vassili Moltchanov (one of the most respected bassists in Belgium) and Russian drummer Anton Arkhipov (famous for his work in thrash band Exhumator) deliver breathtaking technique and energy. In addition Anton studied at the Musical Academy in Minsk and possesses a good strength at orchestral arrangements.
The title ‘Hordes Of The Brave’ is a tribute to Alexander The Great, one of the greatest conquerors and warriors of all time. Despite being an arrogant and ambitious character he was full of respect for the lands he invaded and their people’s rights and races. As with ‘The Man In The Iron Mask’ an epic story has influenced Petrossi’s lyrics and music.
Didier Chesneau at ‘Melody Studios’ in Paris mixed ‘Hordes Of The Brave’ during August 2004 delivering a sound that is both loud and clear. Mika Jussila mastered the album at the famous ‘Finnvox’ studio in Finland. The album artwork is by Leo Hao (Blind Guardian, Magic Kingdom, Iced Earth, Nocturnal rites) an artist from Moscow.
‘Hordes Of The Brave’ is a marked contrast to Dushan’s other releases in that there are no instrumental tracks - only good old epic hard rock with excellent singers. Music fans can expect a lot of melody, baroque and a few progressive influences. Simply ‘Hordes Of The Brave’ is great song writing and 6 exceptional musicians – nothing more, nothing less.
On the subject of the music Petrossi says, “I’m doing the music I love and I don’t care about what’s in fashion or nu metal shit. Nor what’s original or not in the metal scene. Neo-Classical Metal has been deeply rooted in my heart and mind for years, so when I’m composing new material I do not think – “This is sounding like Yngwie or whoever; better put it in the trash”. I never do that because this music is being true to my heart and it’s the way I hear music”.
2007 sees Dushan commencing work on the third Iron Mask release tentatively entitled "Shadow Of The Red Baron" which will see Goetz ‘Valhalla Jr’ Mohre on vocals with the addition of drummer Mike Terrana, expect a release in 2008.