As voted for by your the Domkyrkan readers tonight s review shall be UK Doom lords IRON HEARSE, so here goes...
From the Doom Metal heartland that is Swindon... Yeah... comes a whose career can be summed up in two halves as it were, both culminating in a full length album release. Forming in 2001 Iron Hearse set about their business by releasing three demo's in consecutive years. 2002 saw their debut demo 'A Slow & Heavy Ride' (Incidentally a song on this album) whilst 2003 saw the band return with their second and self titled demo whilst 2004 witnessed their 'Ruins of Doom' demo. In 2005 the band stepped things a gear with the 'Peddle The Metal' EP before finally in 2006 they stepped up to the plate and released their debut and self titled full length studio album!
In terms of releases the band then hit a dry spell and a gap of four long whole years would open up before them like a void before finally in 2010 they returned with their 'Lunar Funeral' Ep quickly followed in the same year by a split release with American Doom Metal tyrants Leather Nun. Rather than stick to their early days mantra of one release a year Iron Hearse would wait until 2012 before offering up a live DVD from Doomsday IV but in terms of actual new material the band waiting, for this...
2013 has sen the return of Iron Hearse in a big way, that being the release of their sophomore studio album entitled 'Get In The Hearse' through Snake Mountain Records.
Opening with the short and to the point 'Wolf Clergy' Iron Hearse get straight down to business and even include a cowbell count in, what more could you want? What you get is straight up old school Doom Metal with no thrills just riffs, lots of down tuned groove drenched riffs and clean/sleazy vocals that let you hear what the band are singing about.
"You'd better hope you find you're way back home, before the wolf clergy devour your bones, those silver bullets are just out of reach, don't ever listen to them preach"
For me this is a smack in the face of those of a religious persuasion and in particular those behind the pulpit feeding their clergy lies on a weekly basis!
Next up is the previously mentioned 'A Slow & Heavy Ride' which was once used as a demo name although not a song on said demo. Increasing the groove and the down tuned majesty this track glides along effortlessly and is a true example of the goodness of the riff! Lyrics such as "Nobody Else Is By Your Side, It's A Slow & Heavy Ride" and "This World Can Be Dark & This World Can Be Cold, It Feels Like You've Got No Soul" take little explaining but channel into something that many of us feel on a day to day basis!
Changing things up a little bit yet again is 'Vessels of Astaroth' which incorporates a touch of the psychedelic into the mixture but tempered by some wonderful heavy Doom riffs that crash into you with real might! 'Hydra's Children' as you can hear in the video above is more straight up Doom in style and a tremendous feast of riffs, fast throbbing bass play and guitar solos that melt into the fabric of the album whilst 'Aint No New Thing' screams of a Heavy Metal influence as once more Iron Hearse just cruise on by, almost on an auto-pilot of hard riffs and catchy tunes!
More solos follow during 'Orion's Sword' and combined with the perpetual beat and the fact that the band put emphasis and great tunes rather than ultra technical ability, you'll be tapping your feet and nodding your head throughout! Slower and more intensely heavy and doomed out is 'Black Sermon' which releases more solid fat riffs into the atmosphere and trundles along nicely at it's own pace before the albums finale 'The Ultimate Atomic Man' which leaves you on a crazy high of fast stoner like riff-age and hypnotically catchy tunes!
So remember... this aint no new thing, it's just all about the riffs!
[8/10 - Luke Hayhurst]