Band: Iron Monkey
Release Date: 20th October, 2017
Label: Relapse Records
Review by John
It’s been 18 years since Nottingham sludge titans Iron Monkey called it a day (urging their fans to kill themselves in a statement released following their final performance), and, following the tragic death of frontman Johnny Morrow in 2002, it seemed like the end of the road.
But, time moves on and Iron Monkey are now back as a three piece with original guitarist Jim Rushby adding vocal duties to his repertoire.While there are many who will question whether this is a good idea, it’s certainly a bold move but one that, on the whole, does work.
Opener ‘Crown Of Electrodes’ is a good introduction to the sound of Iron Monkey of 2017,and while Rushby’s vocals don’t quite have that unique edge that Morrow brought to the band, there’s plenty of noisesome sludgy brutality to get your teeth into.
Over the course of the nine tracks, there is plenty to appeal to both dyed in the wool Monkey fanatics and newcomers alike. ‘Omegamangler’ manages the impressive feat of being downright nasty yet undeniably groovy at the same time, as Rushby screams bleak misery and despair straight at the listener, while ‘Destroyer’ and ‘Mortarhex’ are faster paced, almost hardcore punk numbers.
Album closer ‘Moreland St, Hammervortex’ is a blistering slice sludged out doom metal straight from the classic Iron Monkey playbook, and will probably be a favourite for longtime fans of the band. With the angry screams evoking memories of the band in their heyday, this almost 10 minute long epic sees the album finish in a blaze of feedback and distortion.
Sadly it’s not all good, with ‘The Rope’ seeing the band trying a little too hard to recapture the old magic, but ending up with an almost unlistenable mess, although there is definitely a good idea struggling to break free somewhere.
The odd gripe aside, there is a lot to like about ‘9-13’. While it may not be quite the Iron Monkey you remember, it does a damn fine job of being an Iron Monkey for a new generation, without alienating the hardcore fanbase.
Put your scepticism aside, open your mind and enjoy the ride. Iron Monkey are back, and while they may not be as essential as they once were, they are certainly a band to overlook at your peril.
Pain, misery and despair never sounded so good.
1. Crown Of Electrodes
4. Toadcrucifier – R.I.P.PER
7. The Rope
8. Doomsday Impulse Multiplier
9. Moreland St. Hammervortex
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IRONMONKEYBAND
Get the album here: smarturl.it/IronMonkey