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Reviews
Ironwood - :Fire:Water:Ash:
Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Skarsnik

:Fire:Water:Ash:

Artist: Ironwood Australia

Title: :Fire:Water:Ash:

Label: Ironwood Records Australia

Genre: Progressive Pagan Metal

Track Listing:

01 Önd Ascending    
02 The Oncoming Storm    
03 The Raven Song
04 Jarnvidr Gallows
05 The Serpent Seeks Its Tail    
06 Tide of Memory
07 Love In Death
08 River of Fire
09 Eihwaz Descending

From the land down under comes Ironwood, a band that instantly intrigued me with a smashing digipack of their debut album :Fire:Water:Ash:. The first reaction the crossed my mind was the kaleidoscopic cover and the rune covering it brining my mind to the dwarven seals in a splendid fantastic style. On top of the really great layout you get a lot of bang for your buck with a marvellous booklet containing majestic imagery of landscapes and lyrics, a thing that’s sadly seldom included in today’s albums. The music is interesting to say the least. Trying to describe it is complicated since its nature is a borderline between instrumental bliss, folksy rhythms’ and clean vocals with some heavy metal thrown in here and there. When Önd Ascending starts its ascension you get the feeling that this will be quite a mellow and pleasant trip into neofolk with a pagan theme. However the true roots of Ironwood proves to be deeper and stronger.

The band succeeds in delivering both wonderfully composed songs with a hint of neofolk and heavier passages more in the vein of bands such as Cruachan and Falkenbach. However the true strength in this band exists in the mixing of the two spices. With ‘The Oncoming Storm’ you get a taste of the true majesty of Ironwood and it’s a sensation that lasts through the whole album. It’s a real shame that a talented band such as this lack a record label but maybe that’s what made this release so bloody good.

My personal Favourite of this album is The Raven Song, a beautiful and atmospheric song that really gets stuck to my brain like a post-it stapled to my forehead. ‘Jarnvidr Gallows’ is a 12 minute epic with a lot of great passages creating a mutant hybrid of great musical composition, wonderful lyrics and an ending that reminds me of some of Profanums work although more melodic. The sound on the album is flawless and the composition of instruments is great. The theme is thick as a wolves fur and its really inspiring to cling to the fact that these four individuals shows more talent and inspiration then many of today’s pagan metal scene. I had no idea that Australia could spawn anything even closely similar to this and its really a great surprise that will leave a smile on my face for a long time.

This is a great album and released by a bunch of hardworking and talented gits so it would be a real shame not to buy this great album. If you’re into genuine and experimental pagan metal with as much heart as soul then this is guaranteed to make you happy.

     


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