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Old Iron Learn New Tricks on “Lupus Metallorum”


Doom is metal’s Old Testament, its foundational text, the source of a million splintered sects and innumerable arguments. Like the Old Testament, the genre is rife with powerful and resonant images, gardens bursting with classic riffs and stories that still retain metaphorical power even after being retold thousands of times. The problem is that — also like the Old Testament — doom metal is prone to long stretches of repetition that can be a slog anyone not wearing robes. Drop-C blues riffs beget drop-C two-note riffs which then beget lengthy drone sections, which then beget bad fuzzy guitar solos… and so on and so forth.

While Old Iron’s first album Cordyceps wasn’t that bad (as doom debuts go, you could stand to do much worse), but it did suffer from a lack of urgency. This Seattle band knew the key passages of doom scripture, but their sermons weren’t exactly lively.

Their new record Lupus Metallorum, which you can stream below, is a different story entirely. If Cordyceps was the stodgy, old priest dryly reciting latin, then Lupus Metallorum is the hip, hoop-shooting youth pastor that’s ready to sit backward on a chair and school you on the glory of Ultimate Riffs.

Old Iron deftly front-load Lupus Metallorum with the record’s most immediate material. “Gravewax” and “Maelstrom Of The Black Tempest” whizz by, powered by chunky and tightly arranged rhythms that recall early Mastodon. The album’s b-side uses the time bought by this strong opening to stretch out and refine the band’s approach to slower material. Even at a more leisurely pace, Old Iron move with intention and steel-eyed focus.

Lupus Metallorum will be out on August 18th via Good to Die. Follow Old Iron on Facebook.

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