As posted on the forum, Iron Man will issue their new album, South of the Earth, on Oct. 1 in North America via Metal Blade. Rise Above is handling the UK and Europe, and the Metal Blade match is a good one, since guitarist “Iron” Al Morris III‘s previous band, Force — out of which Iron Man gradually emerged — released their only EP in 1981, a year before the label formed. Both have been through some pretty significant changes since then, but they’re still going strong, and if the megafuzz on Morris‘ guitar on the track “Hail to the Haze” is anything to go by, Iron Man might just be going their strongest yet.
South of the Earth is the band’s first long-player with Dee Calhoun up front. And as advertised, he’s right out there. Pipes for days and the song has a hook to match. But as ever, a goodly portion of Iron Man‘s power resides in its rhythm section, whether it’s the punch of Louis Strachan‘s bass or the straightforward thrust of Jason “Mot” Waldmann‘s drumming, “Hail to the Haze” is a mover and it’s no mystery why. As much of the focus will reside (rightly) with Morris‘ tone and however much Calhoun‘s more-steel-than-your-favorite-skyscraper vocals will demand the attention of anyone listening, it’s the complete package that results in the fistpump-worthy doom metal of “Hail to the Haze.”
That’s not even to mention the production on the track, which is leaps and bounds ahead of even where Iron Man were with I Have Returned in terms of overall fullness. And I thought that record sounded pretty good. This only makes me look forward to hearing South of the Earth more and getting to know the material better live.