Thu 14th September 2006
Iron Hearse first came to my attention on the bargain price sampler from Gallipoli Records called 'Heaviosity'. Their's was one of the stand-out songs from a selection of tracks with a generally high standard. The track was called 'Temples of the Gods' and struck me as perhaps a more groovy Cathedral. Good stuff.
This album proper from these Swindon lads sees that initial assessment verified and expanded on. Openers 'Rocktopus' and 'All Graves Empty' pair some simple heavy riffs with gruff vocals and some typical doom-style lyrics. It's pretty clear from the start this is sure as heck gonna be a rocking album with plenty of groove. But Iron Hearse are not one-style-wonders and mix in tempo shifts and solos with great effect.
Iron Hearse claim the usual influences from the past like Sabbath, Pentagram, and Hendrix (and I can hear some Thin Lizzy in there too). Now, whereas a lot of bands claim this heritage whilst actually imitating their peers, it's easy to hear that Iron Hearse are crafting their own sound in the wake of their esteemed forebears. In fact the only current bands that I would say Iron Hearse emanate from would be the aforementioned Cathedral, and on tracks like 'Blessed by the Anvil' and 'Crown of Doom' the works of Mr Scott 'Wino' Wienrich, currently rocking righteously with The Hidden Hand. Good company to keep indeed.
I've not really heard this type of grove-laden doom done so well for a while. A great transition album to take us from the laid back stoner summer into the dark autumn nights of doom. Fans of Wino, Orange Goblin and Sabbath will most likely love this. Highly recommended.