The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: Iron Age – The Sleeping Eye
I have to thank my brother once again for introducing me to this next band. With only a discography of two full-lengths and an EP, Austin, Texas thrash metal/crossover band, Iron Age, have successfully brought back that old school feeling with their music. Their 2009 album, The Sleeping Eye, is proof that this Texas outfit are capable of creating a titanic wall of old school speed/thrash riffing that at times, lapses into a hybrid of hardcore, sludge and doom metal, that any fan of those styles will instantly feel at home with.
Whereas their debut album, Constant Struggle was more reminiscent of legendary crossover band, Cro-Mags, their latest album shows the band transcending and taking a more visceral route with their sound, taking it’s cue from 80’s thrash and delivering vibrant riffs, catchy hooks and stomping breaks. This album never tires, and what Iron Age lack in complexity, is easily made up for by the band’s atmosphere and the excellent mix of the album. Each song is just an aggressive onslaught of riffs, that honestly, you could care less about technicality, because you’re to busy banging your head along to the music.
Speaking of the mixing, it’s handled very well. The riffs are sharp and loud, the vocals are powerful (this is where a lot of the hardcore roots show), and the drums are just pummeling. And while everything is coherent and mixed well, the album still gives off that classic 80/90’s sound and feel of hardcore/metal at that time. I feel this helps a lot in giving The Sleeping Eye some character while not having it fall victim to just another album paying homage to that classic sound. This album could have easily been released back in the day and fans of both metal and hardcore would eat it up.
What I love about this album is that while it delivers mid to faster paced thrash songs, “Sleeping Eye of the Watcher”, “Dispossessed” and “Burden Of Empire” to name of few, the band manages to widen it’s range of exploration and offer some slower doom/thrash styled songs, most notably with “A Younger Earth”, the seven minute epic “The Way is Narrow” and the ambient instrumental track, “Materia Prima”. The album isn’t a one trick pony, although, if they decided to just have an album full of endless thrash riffs, the fact that they do it so well, I’m sure no one would complain.
It seems The Sleeping Eye is one of those sleeper albums, hell the band itself is pretty underground, never getting much attention as opposed to other bands, but maybe that adds to the bands appeal. Anyway, if you fancy yourself a fan of crossover music, then check out Iron Age, you will not be disappointed. Recommend for fans of Overkill, Cro-Mags, Slayer and Integrity.
Iron Age – “Sleeping Eye of the Watcher”