For Fans Of
The front cover artwork for the new, self-titled album from Melbourne’s Iron Mind displays a flag flying at full mast emblazoned with the band’s signature snake design. It’s a visual statement that suggests a bold level of confidence, and it’s incredibly apt – with their sophomore full-length, Iron Mind establish themselves as a decidedly fearsome, all-conquering, take-no-prisoners force to be reckoned with.
“Punched the clock, put in the work / Pushed on despite the smirks. / So who stood the test of time? That’s us – the Iron Mind” proudly declares vocalist Sam Octigan on ‘T.I.M.E’, the album’s opening number. It’s a statement that bears a lot of truth – since the release of debut EP ‘The Sun Has Set’ back in 2009, Iron Mind have been steadily making ground and building up a name for themselves. Free of posturing or other such nonsense, the band has always felt authentic. With album number two, they’re no longer finding their feet, with a clear and defined sound consistent throughout. Namely, they’ve upped the sheer ferocity coursing through their collective musical veins, the result a fusion of their tried and true metallic-by-way-of-NYHC riffwork with a terrifying new coat of savagery.
You see, in reality, I’m sure each and every member of Iron Mind is a friendly, approachable guy. For all I know, the dudes are calm and tranquil fellows without a hateful bone in their body. Going solely off this album, though? I don’t know. It’s like, maybe they offer to help kindly old women cross the road then throw them into oncoming traffic. Maybe they adopt litters of adorable orphaned puppies and then straight-up eat them, dude. There’s a part in “Divide” about halfway through where the guitars shift to this slow, dissonant wave of sound while Octigan repeatedly asks in literally the most malevolent manner possible “AM I CRAZY?” and the gates of hell just sort of open up out of nowhere and beat the living shit out of you. What it ultimately comes down to is that while the first few releases from this band were damn solid, with this album it feels like more than ever they’ve carved out a sound that’s immediately distinct and identifiable. Beyond being simply destructive and headstrong, Iron Mind have become downright vicious. It’s a mangled, blood-stained suit they wear damn well, and the sheer sonic terror flowing through the likes of ‘Shadows on the Wall’ and closing apotheosis ‘Bleed to Succeed’, along with varied, creative dynamics and a slight melodic edge, feel like an entirely natural progression.
Though it’s an immediately interesting change of pace for the act, the album can fall short in its scope. That said, while a lot of the LP can feel like variations on a theme, at a lean 34 minutes there’s hardly time for things to get too repetitive. Consumed in one sitting there’s still likely enough going on to stay at least engaged – if not bedroom moshing your immediate surroundings into oblivion.
By far their best release yet, it’s entirely understandable why the band would release album two self-titled. Self-assured and natural, the album wholly embodies the powerful, energetic entity that is Iron Mind in 2014 – skull-crushingly heavy and totally visceral.
4. Shadows on the Wall
6. Blood Brother
7. Rest My Case
8. Hell Split With Open
9. Forgive Me
10. Bleed to Succeed