Saturday, 14 January 2023


By: Richard Maw
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/01/2023
Label: Shadow Kingdom Records

“IV” CS//CD//DD//LP track listing:
1). Call of the Void
2). Grave Dance
3). Living on The Earth
4). Pandora’s Box
5). Blind Dead
6). She
7). Lords of This Wasteland
8). Slave One
9). Last Rites
The Review:

The UK’s finest exponents of trad doom return with this- their fourth (!) album. Since the last record, “Excalibur”, there has been a change of personnel- with yours truly bowing out due to family commitments and the eminently capable Scott Naylor joining the band. Sealey and Steve Wilson are still in place, so the dual vocal attack remains along with that rumbling bass and intricate solo guitar work fans of the band are familiar with.
This time around, there are no overarching concepts, no knights, no swords- but there are some recurring themes. The atmosphere setting guitar intro of “Call Of The Void” sets things up for a chilling doom experience, rooted often at street level rather than high fantasy.
The excellent “Grave Dance” is the first song proper and it is a belter. The lolloping triplet time feel coalesces into a highly critical barb against… well, I’ll let you have a listen and make up your mind about what the conspiracy of silence and lust for power while another wave comes is! Whatever your views on civil liberties, the last couple of years and/or the powers that be, this is a superb track. Wilson’s vocals and riffing are excellent. Iron Void are BACK.
From there, the record retains a street level and real-world approach for the most part. Sealey takes the lead vocals for the catchy and groovesome “Pandora’s Box”. The beefy mix courtesy of Chris Fielding allows these straightforward compositions to shine; it’s a great sound and that Skyhammer/Foal Studios sound is hugely weighty. The drums in particular sound massive. Good variety from Naylor on the kit and nice phrasing through the transitional fills. As a track, it wouldn’t be out of place on an Orange Goblin album- something of a throwback to some of the material on “Doomsday” in some ways.
Things get heavier with “Blind Dead” as the band sow down to a crawl. It’s the kind of occult/arcane track that the band do so well- souls, rituals, blasphemy… Templars! It’s all here. Fantastic. I can see this one being a live favourite with its slick changes in the middle and strong refrain. Also: bass wah!
The band have gone for a good variety and breadth of material on this album- it’s by no means one paced and features some excellent dynamics on “She”, along with a surprisingly catchy hook. The track is kind of a distant cousin of “The Devil’s Daughter” and is a really welcome change of vibe. Naturally, the cleaner guitars don’t last forever and there is some serious weight in the middle with some enjoyable guitar work before the original approach returns.
As the record progresses through “Lords of the Wasteland”, many doom fans may have this as a possible doom album of the year contender. It’s riffy, varied, well put together in all aspects and doesn’t outstay its welcome. In terms of trad doom, the old guard are going or gone- Pentagram? Saint Vitus? Trouble? They are now, for the most part, bands of the past. Cathedral are gone. Count Raven are still around, but Iron Void are possibly successors to all the bands listed. They’ve got a unique and identifiable sound, well written songs and well produced records. The crown is there for them, surely.
“Slave One” is another album highlight- again, thematically it’s in keeping with other musings on the album- despite utilising a kind of science fiction motif… or is it science fact?! It is viciously delivered, certainly.  It’ll get heads banging and its cautionary tale of robot death for you and I feels, at the least, prescient and plausible. It’s Sealey’s best vocal performance on the record, I think- with real venom and spite in the delivery.
The record concludes with “Last Rites”- a romp through the doom graveyard of quiet and loud dynamics and with that the band is over and out.  Overall, “IV” is the record the band needed to make: straightforward but varied, heavy but with lighter elements here and there. This is excellent doom metal and stands shoulder to shoulder with the band’s other albums. Support the underground, support real bands and support real doom metal. Buy this album!

“IV” is available HERE 

Band info: bandcamp || facebook