For Ohio-based Andrew D'Cagna there is jut no rest! The multi-instrumentalist has been playing in more than half a dozen different bands over the years, some of them quite renowned within the metal scene. He explains: “I am still an active member of both Brimstone Coven and Icarus Witch. I have been in Brimstone since 2011 and I joined Icarus Witch in 2017. Both bands are currently working on new material. I have also been involved in a black metal recording project with my good friend called Nechochwen since 2010. We have a new album coming out this year.“ Ironflame, however, is his very on project: “The principal goal of Ironflame has always been to write the music I want to hear as a heavy metal fan. I think the key to its growth is to always keep things fun and try my best to give fans music that grows continually while still retaining the original identity of the band.“
The origins of the band go back to 2016: “In this year I lost a good friend who was also a great vocalist. I came up with the concept of Ironflame as a tribute to him. The original idea was to only release one album but people seemed to really like the songs and it started to grow from there. I was introduced to heavy metal in 1988 when I was twelve years old. I acquired an Iron Maiden cassette and I fell in love instantly. I do like and appreciate other forms of music but heavy metal will always be my first and greatest love.”
»Where Madness Dwells« is Ironflame's fourth longplay album, and Andrew describes it as following: “The biggest difference between this and our previous albums is definitely the lyrical concepts and the overall atmosphere of the album. Until now I usually wrote about epic themes and the lyrics were based much more on fantasy. This album is much more personal lyrically and deals with subjects based on reality. I wrote the album at the beginning of the pandemic. My best friend had just lost his battle with cancer and the country's political climate was in a very volatile state. I chose to write about the things that were happening around me instead of the usual epic concepts. Until recently I had not really put a lot of focus on the lyrics for Ironflame. For the first few albums I would usually just come up with the lyrics for songs as I was recording them. I really feel like I have matured and grown as a lyricist on »Blood Red Victory« and I think the lyrics on the new album are my best work so far.
The spoken word intro of the song 'Everlasting Fire' comes from the movie »The Masque Of The Red Death«. It basically states that we do not live in a happy perfect world and that the forces of evil and misery are the things that truly govern this world we live in. It does seem to perfectly encompass the message I wanted to convey in the songs and lyrics.”
For »Where Madness Dwells« Andrew D'Cagna has once again handled all the instruments himself: “Yes, this album was approached in the same fashion as the previous album »Blood Red Victory«. I performed all the main vocals and instruments and the guitar solos were once again performed by Quinn Lukas and Jesse Scott, who are part of the live line-up for Ironflame. Our live line-up has been comprised of the same people for four years now and I do consider them part of the band. They are all fantastic musicians, much better than I could ever be. They are responsible for making Ironflame an active live band, I couldn't do this without them.”
Regarding the vocals, it's easy to hear some parallels to the early work of Bruce Dickinson for Iron Maiden on »Where Madness Dwells«. The multi-talented Andrew D'Cagna does not beg to differ: “Iron Maiden is the first heavy metal band I was introduced to in my youth, so it would only make sense that they have been a big influence on me as a songwriter. It's also fair to say that my singing voice bears a lot of similarities to Bruce Dickinson, so yes, I totally understand why you would make that comparison. I definitely take such comparisons as a compliment.”
On top of that the guitarist playing on the record is quite outstanding as well, to which the leader of Ironflame answers: “I do not consider myself a very good guitarist but I do appreciate you saying that nonetheless. My most influential heavy metal guitarists are obviously Dave Murray and Adrian Smith from Maiden but also Criss Oliva from Savatage as well as more modern guitarists from the Scandinavian Metal scene. On top of that I was always a big fan of Swedish Death Metal from the 1990s, so there has always been a non-US/European air to the way I write riffs and arrange songs. Bands like early Scorpions and Helloween have also been a big influence on my songwriting.”