Iron Void, Excalibur: Of Legend

Posted in Reviews on September 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iron void excalibur

Iron Void‘s third full-length and Shadow Kingdom Records debut, Excalibur, is the kind of record that makes you slap your forehead and ask how no one thought of doing this before. A concept album based on the legend of King Arthur? I know that’s hardly new ground for metal in general, and it seems relatively certain another doom act has had a song about it here or there, but a whole album, capturing the plotline from the ascent of Arthur to the downfall of Camelot via righteous, classic doom? The narrative, of course, is immediately familiar in Western culture, such that songs like “The Coming of a King,” “Lancelot of the Lake,” “The Grail Quest” and “The Death of Arthur” don’t need much more than their titles to orient the listener in the plot, and Iron VoidJonathan “Sealey” Seale (bass/vocals), Steve Wilson (guitar/vocals) and Richard Maw (drums) — use that to their advantage in telling the story with nine songs across a 47-minute span that flow together smoothly without losing their individual impact.

That is, they work as part of the whole or are able to stand on their own if need be. As the Wakefield, UK, three’piece make their way to the penultimate “The Death of Arthur” ahead of the acoustic epilogue “Avalon,” their poise remains unflinching and from Merlin’s incantation at the outset of opener “Dragon’s Breath,” which may or may not actually be sampled from the 1981 film that shares the name of the album, on through the nodding riffage that follows, Iron Void pepper in vocal harmonies and hold their focus well amid the tonal fullness brought to bear by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio in Fall 2017. “The Coming of a King” presents a suitably triumphant NWOBHM gallop, and “Lancelot of the Lake” tosses in double-kick drums from Maw and dual-vocals that highlight the hidden strength in Iron Void‘s approach that puts them far ahead of many practitioners of the style.

No doubt Iron Void do justice in their homage to the elders of doom. Sabbath (of course) in multiple-eras, including some of the medieval stylizations of the Tony Martin years, Saint Vitus, Trouble, etc., and included with that is a strong current of the doom-into-NWOBHM moment, acts like Pagan Altar, Cirith Ungol and Witchfinder General adding early- and mid-’80s fervor to “Lancelot of the Lake” and the subsequent “Forbidden Love,” which plays through quiet/loud tradeoffs in its verse before launching into a speedier solo section and setting the stage for a return to the verse with a moment of standalone bass that highlights one of the most crucial aspects of the band in Seale‘s tone. The low end, which is MIA on many a classic metal recording, does much of the work as the foundation on Excalibur around which Wilson‘s riffs crunch and solos soar. That’s not to take away from Maw‘s drumming, but there’s a sense of melody as well as rhythm to the bass that bridges the other two together.

iron void photo by Katrina Kendrick

While the singing and lyrics are the source of much of the memorability in the songs, by the time Iron Void move into the centerpiece “Enemy Within,” their sense of command is absolute, instrumentally as well as vocally. This speaks not only to the work the band has done across its two prior long-players, 2014’s Iron Void and 2015’s Doomsday, but also to the sheer effort and thought put into this collection. It is coordinated across such a clear beginning, middle and end that one is left wondering which came first, the concept or the tracks themselves, but either way, the fluidity with which the band move through one into the next as they tell their tale isn’t to be understated. While it’s possible to take each cut on its own — “Enemy Within” is a standout among standouts, every bit worthy of its position in the tracklisting — it’s even more satisfying to hear them progress as part of the overarching entirety, which is delivered with unstained class and wholly without pretense.

“Enemy Within” rumbles out its finish into a fade ahead of the bursting start of “The Grail Quest” and it’s clear through the pacing and tone the story is making its way to a decidedly unhappy ending. Weeping lead guitar just past the midpoint in “The Grail Quest” tells the listener everything they need to know about how it all turns out, and the subsequent “A Dream to Some, A Nightmare to Others” takes hold, there seems to be a kind of symmetry with the earlier catchiness of “The Coming of a King,” as Seale and Wilson harmonize through the hook, telling of the death of Merlin and the aftermath thereof. Maw incorporates some cowbell into the first part of the two-stage solo section in the song’s back end, and they finish with a last verse and chorus en route to “The Death of Arthur,” which starts with drum thud and acoustic guitar and unfolds its 7:33 run as, appropriately, the longest track on Excalibur. Fair enough for being kind of an important moment in the fable, but even more than the demise of the central figure, the song offers something of a relief in its sense of melody even as it brings a kind of tension in its early verses.

With subtle noodling on guitar, Iron Void move toward a swell of volume around the 3:30 mark that leads to the next movement, which is more open sounding and a bit more grandiose. A solo naturally gives way back to the quieter verse and a final weighted push ends with a wash of gong. The plucked notes of “Avalon” arrive thereafter and give a concluding chapter to the story and album both that nonetheless expands the sonic palette while remaining true to the central atmosphere at work. Harmonies arrive late for the lines, “Beyond the gates of death/I am free,” and the record closes with the latter lyric and leaves a heavy silence in its wake. They may not be the first to enact the Arthurian theme, but Iron Void make it their own in a manner that both acknowledges metal’s history and dons its proudly. There’s no irony to it, no tongue-in-cheek winking in their presentation. Excalibur is classic metal made new again, and if you can’t handle that, it’s your loss.

Iron Void, Excalibur (2018)

Iron Void on Thee Facebooks

Iron Void on Bandcamp

Shadow Kingdom Records on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

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Iron Void Confirm Oct. 26 Release for Excalibur

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iron void photo by Katrina Kendrick

DOOM!!! Woe unto you if you can’t down with the trad doom righteousness of UK trio Iron Void, and if you can, then even more woe unto you, because they’re just that doomed. It’s been a bit since word came down that they’d signed to Shadow Kingdom Records and were preparing to issue their third long-player, Excalibur, based around the theme of Arthurian legend, but in addition to the prior streaming track “The Coming of a King,” the band have further heralded the album’s arrival with the news that it will be realized at long last on Oct. 26 in CD, LP and tape format, and no matter how you get it, rest assured, you’re getting doom of the highest order. Not admitting openly that I’ve heard it yet or anything, but seriously, the record is absolutely killer.

If you’re not stoked on it yet, get that way, and then hope Shadow Kingdom signs on to reissue the two previous Iron Void albums too, because the more the merrier. Except not merry. Because doom.

Fucking a:

iron void excalibur

IRON VOID set release date for new SHADOW KINGDOM album

Today, Shadow Kingdom Records sets October 26th as the international release date for Iron Void’s highly anticipated third album, Excalibur, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats. A mainstay of the UK doom metal scene, Excalibur is the album by which Iron Void will truly be launched onto the world stage.

Iron Void was originally formed by Jonathan “Sealey” Seale and Andy Whittaker (Solstice, The Lamp of Thoth) in 1998 in order to create an old-school doom metal band, worshiping at the altar of doom legends such as Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, etc. The band reformed in 2008, with the current lineup consisting of Jonathan “Sealey” Seale (bass & vocals), Steve Wilson (guitars & vocals), and Richard Maw (drums).

Iron Void’s debut EP, Spell of Ruin, was originally released on CD in 2010 and re-released in 2012 via Doomanoid Records. Their self-titled debut full-length album was released on CD in 2014 via Barbarian Wrath and released on limited-edition vinyl by Fear Me! Music in 2015. The critically acclaimed second album, Doomsday – recorded & produced at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding (Conan, Winterfylleth, Electric Wizard) and mastered by James Plotkin – was released on CD via Doomanoid Records in 2015 and released on limited gatefold vinyl via Fear Me! Music in 2016.

With considerable live action in the past few years as well, and encouraged by the critical acclaim heaped upon Doomsday, Iron Void patiently set to work on Excalibur. Arguably the band’s magnum opus, Excalibur is an epic behemoth of Arthurian legend, emitting an atmosphere that’s truly medieval whilst sacrificing whilst sacrificing none of their trademark DOOMED-OUT heaviness. Here, across the album’s massive yet strangely concise 48 minutes, Iron Void weave old-as-time tales of myth and magic, all set to rumbling, dramatically dynamic doom metal. The album is sequenced together with a subtle sort of mastery, taking the listener on a journey into centuries past, all concluding with the stark ‘n’ stirring acoustic closer “Avalon.” As the final notes ring out, you’ll be reaching for the calendar to check what year it is!

Hear for yourself with the previously revealed track “The Coming of a King” HERE at Shadow Kingdom’s Bandcamp, where the album can also be preordered. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Iron Void’s Excalibur
1. Dragon’s Breath
2. The Coming of a King
3. Lancelot of the Lake
4. Forbidden Love
5. Enemy Within
6. The Grail Quest
7. A Dream to Some, A Nightmare to Others
8. The Death of Arthur
9. Avalon

www.facebook.com/ironvoid
www.ironvoid.bandcamp.com
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Iron Void, “The Coming of a King”

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Iron Void Stream “The Coming of a King”: Excalibur Details Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

iron void

If the classic-style chug of the first audio to be made public from Iron Void‘s forthcoming Excalibur album doesn’t get you stoked on the idea of hearing the rest of the record, you might as well resign your doomly commission now. “The Coming of a King” is a beacon of doom for doomers, a brook-no-argument execution of style that feeds into a concept narrative based around the story of King Arthur that from where I sit has the potential to be one of 2018’s best traditional doom LPs. Yup, I know it’s gonna be a long year and like all of them, it’s going to be filled with quality riffing. But seriously, just listen to that track. Must-haves hardly ever seem so obvious.

Excalibur doesn’t have an exact release date yet, but will be out early in the New Year as Iron Void‘s third LP and debut release for Shadow Kingdom Records. The PR wire has art, track details and the stream of “The Coming of a King,” which you’ll find at the bottom of this post.

Have at it:

iron void excalibur

IRON VOID reveal first track, cover, tracklisting for new SHADOW KINGDOM album – due early next year

Doom titans Iron Void reveal the first track, cover art, and tracklisting to their highly anticipated third album, Excalibur, which will be released during the first quarter of 2018 by new label home Shadow Kingdom Records. A mainstay of the UK doom metal scene, Excalibur is the album by which Iron Void will truly be launched onto the world stage. “The Coming of a King,” the first track to be revealed from Excalibur, can be heard exclusively HERE.

Iron Void was originally formed by Jonathan “Sealey” Seale and Andy Whittaker (Solstice, The Lamp of Thoth) in 1998 in order to create an old-school doom metal band, worshiping at the altar of doom legends such as Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, etc. The band reformed in 2008, with the current lineup consisting of Jonathan “Sealey” Seale (bass & vocals), Steve Wilson (guitars & vocals), and Richard Maw (drums).

Iron Void’s debut EP, Spell of Ruin, was originally released on CD in 2010 and re-released in 2012 via Doomanoid Records. Their self-titled debut full-length album was released on CD in 2014 via Barbarian Wrath and released on limited-edition vinyl by Fear Me! Music in 2015. The critically acclaimed second album, Doomsday – recorded & produced at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding (Conan, Winterfylleth, Electric Wizard) and mastered by James Plotkin – was released on CD via Doomanoid Records in 2015 and released on limited gatefold vinyl via Fear Me! Music in 2016.

With considerable live action in the past few years as well, and encouraged by the critical acclaim heaped upon Doomsday, Iron Void patiently set to work on Excalibur. Arguably the band’s magnum opus, Excalibur is an epic behemoth of Arthurian legend, emitting an atmosphere that’s truly medieval whilst sacrificing whilst sacrificing none of their trademark DOOMED-OUT heaviness. Here, across the album’s massive yet strangely concise 48 minutes, Iron Void weave old-as-time tales of myth and magic, all set to rumbling, dramatically dynamic doom metal. The album is sequenced together with a subtle sort of mastery, taking the listener on a journey into centuries past, all concluding with the stark ‘n’ stirring acoustic closer “Avalon.” As the final notes ring out, you’ll be reaching for the calendar to check what year it is!

The first track to be revealed from Excalibur is “The Coming of a King,” which can be heard HERE at Shadow Kingdom’s Bandcamp, where the album can also be preordered. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Iron Void’s Excalibur
1. Dragon’s Breath
2. The Coming of a King
3. Lancelot of the Lake
4. Forbidden Love
5. Enemy Within
6. The Grail Quest
7. A Dream to Some, A Nightmare to Others
8. The Death of Arthur
9. Avalon

www.facebook.com/ironvoid
www.ironvoid.bandcamp.com
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Iron Void, “The Coming of a King”

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Iron Void Sign to Shadow Kingdom Records; Excalibur out in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Hells yes. I had the extreme pleasure of watching Wakefield, UK, trio Iron Void take the stage earlier this year at second night of the inaugural Emerald Haze festival (review here) in Dublin, Ireland, and they were an unbridled revelry of classic doom at its best. Seriously, dudes killed it. I’ve been keeping my eye open since as they’ve been in the process of making their next record to follow-up on 2015’s sophomore outing, Doomsday, and the word that they’ve signed to Shadow Kingdom Records to issue what’s been dubbed Excalibur could hardly be more welcome as far as I’m concerned. Primo doom on an imprint with what I consider to be an unfuckwithable reputation for taste in same? Shit, I feel validated in Iron Void getting picked up by Shadow Kingdom. I can only imagine how the band itself actually feels.

Excalibur will be out sometime in 2018. Whenever it is, call it “not nearly soon enough” and that should about cover it. Prepare for doom!

From the PR wire:

iron void shadow kingdom

IRON VOID sign with SHADOW KINGDOM, new album set for next year

Shadow Kingdom Records announces the signing of Iron Void. The first fruit of this union shall be the band’s highly anticipated third album, Excalibur. A mainstay of the UK doom metal scene, Excalibur is the album by which Iron Void will truly be launched onto the world stage. The album shall be released during the first quarter of 2018 via Shadow Kingdom.

Iron Void was originally formed by Jonathan “Sealey” Seale and Andy Whittaker (Solstice, The Lamp of Thoth) in 1998 in order to create an old-school doom metal band, worshiping at the altar of doom legends such as Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, etc. The band reformed in 2008, with the current lineup consisting of Jonathan “Sealey” Seale (bass & vocals), Steve Wilson (guitars & vocals), and Richard Maw (drums).

Iron Void’s debut EP, Spell of Ruin, was originally released on CD in 2010 and re-released in 2012 via Doomanoid Records. Their self-titled debut full-length album was released on CD in 2014 via Barbarian Wrath and released on limited-edition vinyl by Fear Me! Music in 2015. The critically acclaimed second album, Doomsday – recorded & produced at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding (Conan, Winterfylleth, Electric Wizard) and mastered by James Plotkin – was released on CD via Doomanoid Records in 2015 and released on limited gatefold vinyl via Fear Me! Music in 2016.

With considerable live action in the past few years as well, and encouraged by the critical acclaim heaped upon Doomsday, Iron Void patiently set to work on Excalibur. Arguably the band’s magnum opus, Excalibur is an epic behemoth of Arthurian legend, emitting an atmosphere that’s truly medieval whilst sacrificing whilst sacrificing none of their trademark DOOMED-OUT heaviness. Here, across the album’s massive yet strangely concise 48 minutes, Iron Void weave old-as-time tales of myth and magic, all set to rumbling, dramatically dynamic doom metal. The album is sequenced together with a subtle sort of mastery, taking the listener on a journey into centuries past, all concluding with the stark ‘n’ stirring acoustic closer “Avalon.” As the final notes ring out, you’ll be reaching for the calendar to check what year it is!

Release date, cover, tracklisting, and preorder info shall be announced shortly, as well as the first track to be revealed from Excalibur. Consult the below links for more info.

www.facebook.com/ironvoid
www.ironvoid.bandcamp.com
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Iron Void, Doomsday (2015)

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