Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Iron Age - The Sleeping Eye (Review)
Man I've waited for that record for so long, since the release of their first full length "Constant Struggle" to be exact. In between those two LPs Iron Age released only two 7"s, and the first one, the "Burden of Empire" 7" never really made it to Europe I think. The "The Way is narrow" 7" came out like months ago and really made me expecting nothing but the best from the new record, "The Sleeping Eye".
First of all, the record comes in a really thick gatefold cover (at least the US-pressing on Cyclopean Records), as double LP, with all lyrics and a small poster. The artwork itself is quite weird and not exactly "nice". In fact it looks more like done while tripping on LSD or something. Maybe that's not too far from the truth. The good thing is, in this case you can judge a book by its cover.
It still sounds like Iron Age, no doubt about it, but I think they manage the approach they had from the beginning way better than on the first record. What's left is the same unique mixture of Thrash metal, Stoner rock and Hardcore, but whereas some of their earlier songs kind of didn't really know where to go, every single one on "The Sleeping Eye" is perfect. You have really long, slow, even psychadelic parts, fast parts that totally remind me on "Kill em all"-Metallica, and a few but really hard moshparts, which will make your head bang harder then a train approaching you from the behind. The riffs are excellently played, with lots of "twin-tone" harmonies, and Iron Age is one of the few Hardcore bands which are able to play more than 8 riffs in one song without getting boring or causing the impression of bad song writing. As if this wasn't enough for a great record, they implemented some quite unusual stuff (at least in a Hardcore context), like a synth-intro in one song, or what I call a "monk-choir" in another.
The production is quite good as well, I mean it perfectly fits the music. It's warm and "earthy", the record sounds as if they recorded it out in the desert. Which maybe isn't too far from the truth. While sounding that warm, it's still crisp and tight, of course.
The lyrics, in addition to the music, help to build a very epic feeling throughout the whole record. Want to try? "Once below, now beyond/Ascending in time/The Entrance I Seek/Is the hidden devine/Towers of untold height are anchored/In the sin of hell beneath/If I ignore them, they will pass. Dispossessed/by all I used to need" and so on.
My advice: go and get this record, at least if you don't get turned off by songs that are longer than two minutes. This is as heavy as it is beautiful and for sure one of the records 2009.
Iron Age's blog
Iron Age on myspace.com