Wednesday, September 19, 2012

... WAR IRON "the Fifth and Final Sun"

Belfast quartet War Iron offers up four more or less lengthy songs of twin-bass sludge on this, their second album. Yes, there are actually no guitars to be heard in this band, as it was decided six strings did't sound heavy enough, so you are right to expect a rather bleak affair when it comes to harmonie, at least with respect to the opening eight minutes of "Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum", a kind of minimal sludge with bile-spitting vocals that seem to follow no lyrics at all. The recognition value tends towards nil, the effect is everything: galling, apalling, apocalyptic.

Given that the group consists of ex-members from the charming Fuckhammer and The Naut, it is clear that their brand of doom is fed by a healthy dose of Hardcore. This doesn't mean War Iron add any uptempo parts to their bleak brew, but a distinctive groove which turns "The Place Where the Silent Ones Kill" into a little … well, "hit" in the sense that the two distorted basses make for a remarkably hooky motif, added to by growler baggy, who snarls along in unison. Clocking in at almost ten minutes however, the song is still too long, as the musicians meagre creative input doesn't justify drawing it out that long.

"(Crossing) The Sacred Tree" paces along in an almost droning way, as the bass riffs tend to consists of long notes, and again what Baggy blurts out seems to be irrelevant. The best thing here is a stomping interlude followed by a vividly low and sawing theme that is thickened by synthesizer lines. Once more, all this is rather atmospheric than a display of vibrant songwriting - the more so "Black Fleet", a quarter hour beginning with French words spoken by a female accompanied by one of those totally interchangeable riffs soon to be forgotten. The arrangement is getting more dense and busy (relatively spoken), but honestly, the only attention-gripper here is the return of that woman's voice as well as, once more, the synth-sounding noise, which in all likelihood stems from bass effects.

In the end, what these Irishmen do is cater to legions of sludge-hungry listeners for whom individuality and musical substance are less important than bands being truthful to their stuffy scene. As far as the latter goes, War Iron deliver, starting with their doom-pastiche name and surely not ending with "The Fifth and Final Sun", a record as good as any if you are into the noisy, ugly side of all things distorted. Would I crave to put this on again more than, say, age-old EyeHateGod albums? No.

words by Andreas Schiffmann

No comments:

Post a Comment