The Devil's Trade
The Call of the Iron Peak

When I decided to pick up the new album (his second overall) from The Devil’s Trade, I was looking for a bit of a change of pace. You know, the old “listening to nothing but heavy music” into which we metal reviewers sometimes find ourselves. It’s often a good idea to take a step back and listen to something relaxing. Typically for me, this is still metal-related, but I’ll dive into some post-metal.

Not this time, friends. I wanted perhaps some folksy blackened metal such as with Panopticon, but what I received is the “folksy,” minus the black metal. Opener “The Iron Peak” takes some time to get going, if “get going” is what one decides to call it. The vocals kick in about a minute in and sound reminiscent of what was called “yarling” back in the 90s. You know the sound: Pearl Jam, STP, Creed… I’m sorry to say that I don’t feel like the opener goes anywhere.

The next track, “Dead Sister,” deserves mention for its title, but its vocals as well. This is definitely a folk song with some cleanly picked guitar and banjo (?). I could be wrong on that banjo part as it doesn’t necessarily sound distinctive, nor is it listed in the credits. So, I’m probably wrong. The vocals stand out simply because of the pronunciation of “brother (brudder).”

The next to mention is track 8, “Eyes in the Fire” stands out from the rest of the pack to me because of its repeated refrain. Overall, though, there’s not any change of pace from this track as opposed to the rest of the album.

I’m just going to go ahead and cut this off right here…

Damn it. I really don’t want to trash an album. I’m sure there’s an audience out there for The Call of the Iron Peak. It’s just not me. This is for many reasons. Firstly, I prefer a little serenity in my daily music choices, but ultimately it has to be balanced with some ferocity. I’m not sure this should even be reviewed on a heavy metal site because of the complete lack of, well, metal. It’s baffling Season of Mist has picked this up, but they have made risky choices before. This album was clearly written from the soul and for what it’s worth, is performed quite well. I hope Season of Mist finds its audience, but I doubt it’s here.

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Written by J Mays
November 3rd, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dearoldblighty

    Oh, i totally understand where you are coming from. That being said, I really enjoyed this album as non metal for a metalhead. It scratches an itch similar to 16hp (or anything from David Eugene Edwards, really). The singer is Hungarian, which would account for his pronunciation. And yes, this is dark folk only. I also think anyone who enjoys Steve von Till’s solo work would be able to slot this into their rotation without much effort.


  2. Commented by: J. Mays

    I appreciate your comment! One thing I absolutely hate to do is bash an album that isn’t for me. That doesn’t mean it’s bad or that it won’t be exactly for what someone else was looking. This isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m sure there are many out there who disagree.


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