Just one year after their back to basics comeback album The W, New York's most famous hip-hop collective return for another blast of their intense, intimidating rap workouts. With the old team of Method Man, Raekwon and Ol' Dirty Bastard re-assembled under the leadership of Robert 'RZA' Diggs, the omens seemed promising - and yet Iron Flag sounds like nothing so much as a vain effort to recover past glories. The quickfire wit, neat rhymes, funky basslines and dark production are all present and correct, but the rhythms are laboured and a curious air of boredom seems to hang over the entire project. The truth is that behind the façade of bravado, very little on this album can stand comparison with the band's stunning 1993 debut Enter The Wu-Tang. Fans will probably still want this for its occasional flashes of brilliance, but newcomers to the Clan should definitely start somewhere else.