Ironwood - _Ironwood_
(Independent, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (9 out of 10)
Every now and gain, I hear an independent album that leaves such an impression on me that I am dumbstruck as to why they are not signed, given the quality. This EP is one such album.

Ironwood's approach is rather varied, combining punishing black fuzz with beautiful acoustic passages and melding progressive tendencies with the simplistic relentlessness of pure black metal. Just as the music is varied, so is the vocal approach, whereby blackened shrieks sit alongside both an off-key Viking vox (think Storm) and more accomplished clean vocals.

Not only do Ironwood manage to get away with this cornucopia, they do so in a manner most bands can only dream of. The contrast between the soft and harsh passages is extremely effective, and the melding of disparate influences such as prog, folk and black is near flawless. The album as a whole is also surprisingly coherent.

This is a welcome voice to the Pagan metal field, and one we will be hearing much more from in future. The question is not whether they will receive the backing of a label and record their full-length; it is simply a matter of when.


(article published 1/5/2007)

4/15/2009 Q Kalis 7 Ironwood - :Fire:Water:Ash:
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