I thought this would be a really hard album to review. Because I’ve been a fan of Iron Monkey since they first burst onto the UK scene in the mid-90s… a time when the UK underground scene was at its strongest, in my humble opinion.
And the dirtiest, the heaviest, most extreme band (that I actually liked back then) was these guys.
The problem I thought I was going to have is that original “singer”, Johnny Morrow, sadly passed away in 2002 (I was actually at the Murder One gig, his then current band, the day he died) and no Johnny Morrow = no Iron Monkey.
Thankfully, I left the blinkers off when I first hit play, and I’m pleased to say, the album is nothing short of magnificent.
I’m deliberately not comparing this with the IM of old, so with Jim Rushby now doubling up on vocals, this is essentially a continuation of what they created before, but from musicians with 15 or so years more experience. Think back to your own life from 15 or 20 years ago, we’ve all changed in some way, but a lot of us will still follow the same path.
Anyway, what is the same is that it’s stupidly heavy, with what passes for melody trying to fight its way out of an airtight cocoon, and a rhythm section that could stun an elephant at 100 yards.
The riffs still sound like Sabbath being dragged down into some form of subhuman world, and the vocals still sound like someone has been gargling bleach for a week.
So completely ignore the band name, if you need to, just judge this on what you hear, not what the band are called.