Doom is an extraordinary, multifaceted genre of metal. Here, musicians and heavy music alchemists have stretched and strained the genre’s basest elements into so many warped and ear destroying shapes that sometimes it becomes a struggle to keep up. From Sunn O)))’s punishing drones to the tearing sludge ferocity of EyeHateGod, there are examples too numerous to mention. But then, we have bands like Iron Void, bands who keep the traditional flame alive.
Doomsday is the follow up to last year’s Self-Titled debut, and sees the band treading a well-worn path of traditional doom ala Trouble, Pentagram and the masters, Black Sabbath. The title track welcomes us to Doomsday with a rumbling riff that crawls from the guitar, crushing those before it. Each riff is delightfully cliché, reminding us of the primal power that pure, unadulterated doom can have. This isn’t an attempt to reinvent the wheel, nor even perfect the turn, it is simply doom played for the sheer passion of it. Most of us would have it no other way.
Path To Self Destruction has one of the most killer grooves I’ve heard all year. I was hooked on it instantly, and that feeling is reinforced when it comes to the catchy The Devil’s Daughter. The grandiose Candlemass worship of Lost Faith, the galloping The Gates Of Hell with its eastern flourishes and the stomp of Eye For An Eye show what variety can wrought from a trad doom perspective, and also gives props to the song writing skills on show here. The Answer Unknown oozes a touch of Witchfinder General, mixed with some Sabbathian blues.
Iron Void’s quality comes from the fact that they’re just a band, playing good music that they enjoy. There’s no arching occult concept, there’s no flutes or violins or any fucking misery. This is exuberant, almost joyful, doom that revels in the sheer rock and roll spirit that underpins everything that heavy metal is about. There’s classy soloing, grooves a mile wide and riffs that hit like an atom bomb (listen to the swagger of Colosseum and tell me I’m wrong). It makes Doomsday a pleasure to listen to over and over again.
For indeed, “Welcome to Doomsday, too late to pray for your salvation now…” slip under and let the riff envelop you. Each song has a glorious magic to it, and it helps Iron Void and their interpretation of heavy metal’s primal beginnings remain triumphant. Rise up from your misanthropic misery and your smoky occultisms, because Doomsday is a victory for tradition over experimentalism, and it fucking grooves.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson