Iron Void
Doomsday

Iron Void are true believers. This English three piece never records anything that lacks a definable frame of reference or unquestionable sincerity. Strains of Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and more percolate through their music like a second heartbeat, but the band never lapses into crass, outright imitation. Their passion infuses every song with a strongly individualistic slant. It distinguishes their material from the quasi-tribute music so often flooding the genre and their latest release from Doomanoid Records, Doomsday, is no exception.

The title tracks kicks things off with its apocalyptic crawl. The undulating buzz of bass and guitars lingers in the ears and the band’s warm, rough-hewn sound exudes power without slipping into sledgehammer theatrics. Iron Void shifts tempo a little after four minutes and set the stage for a brief, but never ornamental, guitar solo. However, the band turns back to the same leaden tempo for the final half and it helps strengthen a sense of unity for the track. “Path to Self Destruction” finds the band moving into full-on bulldozer mode by upping the pace and playing in a much more condensed, claustrophobic fashion. There’s few slivers daylight in this riffing; Iron Void churn in virtual lockstep and the vocal adds a believable exclamation point on the band’s dark lyric. “The Devil’s Daughter” is much more of a throwback number than the opening tracks, but its melodic inclinations and generally breezier attack aren’t signs of weakness. It shows a band deceptively light on their feet.

“Lost Faith” returns the band’s music to a more modern context  and finds them summoning tremendous Sturm and Drang – the bass and guitars clang and slice through the mix while the powerhouse drumming hammers away with head-rattling consistency. If one wants to indulge comparisons, it’s possible to hear Iron Void marrying the white-knuckled grind of Saint Vitus with flashes of Black Sabbath’s signature dynamics, but the vocals help further distinguish the track. It’s rare that three piece bands can share two strong vocalists, but Iron Void’s songs benefit from the complementary strengths they share. “The Gates of Hell” has listeners falling, tumbling end over end, from the first minute and the musical freefall never stops gathering energy. The vocals are reminiscent of Celtic Frost, circa Into the Pandemonium, but the musical approach synthesizes a reliance on riffing with a strong melodic direction.

The mid-tempo strut of “Eye for an Eye” tosses aside any flash for a head-down, straight ahead bruiser intent on not pulling its punch. It’s a steady pummel, but the real blows come near the end when guitarist Steve Wilson peppers the listener with a bevy of stinging wah-wah licks. It’s worth mentioning how the lyrics, like others on the album, have clarity and surprising attention to detail that help make the tracks more memorable. “Colosseum” is another battering ram riff courtesy of guitarist Wilson and bassist Jonathan “Sealey” Seale. They strike a slow burn groove for the song’s first minute before collapsing into a faster, tight groove that seems to lap over itself continuously. The repetition defines the track, but Iron Void never forget to release that mounting tension

The album’s final song, “Upon the Mountain”, breaks with most of the album’s earlier tracks. The split happens along a line of tradition – once again, Iron Void look back to the distant past for inspiration and manage to produce a variation on classic genre themes twisted into originality by their talents and personality. There’s definitely a theatrical aspect to the track that strengthens its case for the album’s final slot. Doomsday represents a definite step forward from its memorable self-titled predecessor and finds a band growing increasingly confident in their abilities.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jason Hillenburg
December 14th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    Badass review as always Jay. Diggin’ these guys plenty!


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