"Get in the Hearse"

By Earthdog

Iron Hearse play Sabbathian-based stoner-metal that has been done a trillion times before but hang on, it is still damn good. What makes this a cut-above-the-rest is the blend of influences that have all made their way into the Iron Hearse melting pot. Along with the derivative sabbathisms and other key riffing inflections like early Fu Manchu, Kyuss, Dozer, Orange Goblin and Saint Vitus, the band also have this quirky and unique mix of NWOBHM that seems to make its way into their songs. Everyone from Diamond Head to Saxon and Judas Priest to Angel Witch can be heard within this album's grooves and grooves may be the optimal description here but let's get down to the facts. Iron Hearse play a mix of cowbell laced stompers, thunderous riff-rockers, and doom passages that will send any doom or stoner-metal fan worth their salt into a head spin.

Doom fans: take note of tracks like 'Wolf Clergy' and 'Black Sermon' for some heavy-duty doom riffing and you stoner-rocking doomster's will surely appreciate the stonerized metallic grooves of 'Hydra's Children' and others. This is a British heavy rock album and it sounds like it, too. It is not just the old-school heavy metal influences that shine through in the guitar work but even the vocals have a early 80's heavy metal feel about them. On top of that, you get treated to ripping solos played with finesse and class. What also gives the band a unique edge is the way they use their Black Sabbath influences. At times it is 'Master of Reality' era, other times they sound like they are channeling the "Heaven and Hell", "Mob Rules" era Sabbath so the overall result is one that isn't locked into any one era.

If you are into tasty riffage and don't mind a band wearing their influences on their sleeve but can't resist a catchy tune, this album is for you. To be honest there is nothing to be heard on here that you can't get on hundreds of other albums, especially ones from the 90's but it doesn't matter when you have something as varied and infectious as 'Get In The Hearse.' This is an album that sounds equally impressive whether you are stoned, drunk or totally straight. Whether you are sitting at home with this baby cranked to 10 or driving down the highway at 100MPH, this album does the job and does it well. It also comes as a "vinyl CD" version which basically looks like a vinyl LP sleeve and it looks awesome. I wish more bands would package their tunes this way. This album can proudly sit alongside classic British metal bands whether it be Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden or Cathedral. This continues the tradition started all those decades ago by those timeless bands and I for one, can't get enough....9.5/10.