IRON ANGEL (Band) German / Teutonic Speed & Thrash Metal

  Iron Angel was a speed metal band from Hamburg, Germany that was active during the mid-1980s and the early 2000s. They started out in 1980 as a school band called "Metal Gods" (a song by Judas Priest) being renamed into "Iron Angel" few years later inspired by a novel about a spirit hunter. During the 1980's they have released two official full-length recordings: "Hellish Crossfire" in 1985 and "Winds of War" in 1986.


banner artwork

Iron Angel Band Description:

  Iron Angel is a German heavy metal band that formed in 1980. The band is known for their aggressive sound and intense live performances. Over the years, Iron Angel has gone through several line-up changes but has continued to release music and tour.


 Iron Angel was formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1980 by Dirk Schröder (vocals), Peter Wittke (guitar), Sven Strüven (drums), and Volker Rummel (bass). The band quickly gained attention in the local metal scene and released their debut album "Hellish Crossfire" in 1985 on Steamhammer Records. The album received critical acclaim and helped establish Iron Angel as one of the prominent German metal bands of the 80s.

 In 1986, Iron Angel released their second album "Winds of War" which showcased the band's musical progression and maturity. The album also featured a new line-up with Dirk Schröder being replaced by new vocalist Dirk Schumacher. However, despite the success of "Winds of War," the band dissolved in 1987 due to internal tensions.

 In 2004, Iron Angel was resurrected with a new line-up and released their third album "The Revenant" in 2014. The band has continued to tour and release music, including their latest album "Emerald Eyes," which was released in 2020.


 Iron Angel's discography spans four albums over four decades. Their debut album "Hellish Crossfire" is considered a classic of the speed metal genre and is a favorite among metalheads. "Winds of War" is another essential album in the band's discography and showcases their growth as musicians. "The Revenant" is a solid comeback album that re-established Iron Angel's place in the metal scene. "Emerald Eyes" is the band's latest offering and shows that they still have plenty of fire left in them.


 Iron Angel's impact on the heavy metal genre can't be understated. Their debut album "Hellish Crossfire" was a game-changer for the speed metal genre and inspired countless bands to follow in their footsteps. Iron Angel's aggressive sound and intense live performances also helped to define the German metal scene of the 80s. The band's influence can be heard in many of the prominent metal bands that emerged in the years following their formation.

Iron Angel: Forgotten Pioneers of German Thrash Metal

In the heart of the 1980s German thrash metal explosion, Iron Angel emerged as a unique voice amidst the chaos. Formed in 1983, the band blended speed metal's velocity with thrash's aggression, forging a sound that would influence the development of power metal.

The Teutonic Thrash Scene

Iron Angel's rise coincided with a pivotal moment in heavy metal history. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) had laid the groundwork, while American bands like Metallica and Slayer pushed the boundaries of speed and aggression. In Germany, a distinct thrash metal scene was brewing, marked by fast tempos, fierce riffing, and often politically charged lyrics.

While not as widely recognized as their contemporaries – Kreator, Destruction, Sodom and Tankard (the "Teutonic Big 4") – Iron Angel played a crucial role in shaping the German thrash sound. Their music was a unique blend of speed and melody, incorporating elements that would later become more prominent in power metal.

A Unique Sound

Compared to other German thrash bands, Iron Angel stood out. Kreator was known for their raw aggression and chaotic energy, while Destruction's sound was characterized by technicality and intricate songwriting. Sodom's music was often dark and nihilistic, dealing with themes of war and violence.

Iron Angel, however, offered a different approach. Their music was less technical and more straightforward, yet it retained a melodic sensibility that set them apart. Their lyrical themes were diverse, ranging from social commentary to fantasy and warfare.

Legacy and Influence

Although Iron Angel didn't achieve the same level of commercial success as some of their peers, their contributions to German thrash metal cannot be ignored. They helped to bridge the gap between speed metal and thrash metal, paving the way for the development of power metal. Their music continues to be cherished by fans of classic thrash and speed metal, serving as a reminder of a time when a new sound was being forged in the fiery crucible of the German metal scene.

Iron Angel: The Classic Lineup that Forged German Thrash Metal

During their impactful run in the 1980s, Iron Angel solidified a lineup that became synonymous with their unique brand of thrash metal. The core members, who contributed to the band's influential albums "Hellish Crossfire" (1985) and "Winds of War" (1986), were:

Dirk Schröder (Vocals): Schröder's distinctive vocal style, a blend of aggression and melody, became a hallmark of Iron Angel's sound. His powerful delivery and commanding stage presence made him a captivating frontman.

Peter Wittke (Guitar): Wittke's lightning-fast riffs and melodic solos were instrumental in shaping Iron Angel's signature sound. His technical proficiency and songwriting skills made him a driving force behind the band's creative output.

Sven Strüven (Guitar): Strüven's rhythm guitar playing provided a solid foundation for Wittke's lead work. His tight riffing and harmonized solos added depth and texture to the band's sound.

Thorsten Lohmann (Bass): Lohmann's thunderous bass lines anchored Iron Angel's music, providing a powerful low-end presence. His dynamic playing and ability to lock in with the drummer created a driving rhythm section.

Mike Matthes (Drums): Matthes' relentless drumming was a key element of Iron Angel's aggressive sound. His fast tempos, intricate fills, and precise timing propelled the band's music forward with unrelenting energy.

This classic lineup represents Iron Angel at their creative peak. Their combined talents and chemistry resulted in a unique blend of speed metal and thrash, with a melodic edge that set them apart from their contemporaries. While the band experienced lineup changes in later years, these five musicians remain the core members associated with Iron Angel's most influential period. Their contributions to German thrash metal continue to be recognized and appreciated by fans and musicians alike.

Index of IRON ANGEL (Germany) Vinyl Album Discography and Album Cover Gallery

Iron Angel is a legendary German metal band that has made a significant impact on the heavy metal genre. Their aggressive sound, intense live performances, and influential debut album "Hellish Crossfire" have cemented their place in metal history. With four albums spanning four decades, Iron Angel has proven that they are a force to be reckoned with and continue to inspire new generations of metalheads.

IRON ANGEL - Hellish Crossfire

Thumbnail Of  IRON ANGEL - Hellish Crossfire ( Germany ) album front cover

SteamHammer SH 0032 , 1985 , Germany

 Iron Angel's "Hellish Crossfire" German release 12" vinyl LP album is a thrash metal masterpiece. Produced by Horst "Hoddle" Muller and recorded at Caet Studio Berlin in May 1985, it delivers relentless aggression and blistering guitar work. With album photography by Joachim-Peters-Schnee and cover design by Edda & Uwe Karczewski and Peter Wittke, the visual presentation matches the intensity of the music. Featuring the talented lineup of Dirk Schroeder, Sven Struven, Mike Mattes, and Thorsten Lohmann.

Learn more

IRON ANGEL - Hellish Crossfire

Thumbnail Of  IRON ANGEL - Hellish Crossfire ( Netherlands ) album front cover

Hammerheart Records HHR2014-05 , 2014 , Netherlands

"Hellish Crossfire" is the first official full-length album by the German Thrash Metal band: "IRON ANGEL". This album was produced by Horst "Hoddle" Muller (who has also produced albums for bands like:Destruction, Running Wild, Warrant, Celtic Frost). "Hellish Crossfire" was recorded at the Caet Studio Berlin, the album was originally released in 1985 and re-issued in 2014.

Learn more

IRON ANGEL - Winds Of War

Thumbnail Of  IRON ANGEL - Winds Of War album front cover

SteamHammer SH 0047 , 1988 , Germany

"Winds of War was recorded in April 1986 at Karo Music Studio, Munster, Germany. It was produced by Kalle Trap (Kalle Trap being producer for many of the leading German Thrash Metal bands during he 1980s) and engineered by Uwe Ziegler. Artwork was done by Edda & Uwe Karczewski , best known for the album covers of "Helloween".

Learn more