Iron Tongue
The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown
(Neurot Recordings)

In the current musical climate and for the last 20 years for the most part, authenticity is becoming increasingly more difficult to find. This is particularly true in the case of underground metal, a genre that has seen its fair share of throwback rock n’ roll bands with a metallic touch get huge. Due to this increase in popularity, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to tell which bands are playing old school rock n’ roll because they love it, versus the ones who just want to get signed to a major label and get rich. In the case of Little Rock, AR’s Iron Tongue, it’s pretty obvious they are simply paying tribute to the ones who came before them.

When listening to the record, if you think the voice sounds familiar, it’s because their vocalist is C.T., the gravel-throated front man of Rwake. There is a massive difference between his vocals in the two bands, however. In Iron Tongue, there isn’t much screaming, instead he inflicts his fury in the form of lyrics that are truly heart-wrenching. It’s hard to tell exactly what these songs are about, but it’s obvious that they were written through clenched teeth and are probably about a girl or two, particularly on tracks like “Ever After”, “Lioness” and “Skeleton”.

Musically, the album sounds like something recorded in the 70’s and the tone is absolutely perfect. Its pace is mostly slow and murky. With the placement of beautiful female vocals and an organ, as well as the ton, it’s reminiscent of older classic rock and doom, with influences from Blue Oyster Cult, Humble Pie, Cathedral and even Lynyrd Skynyrd. The track “Witchery” actually reminds me a bit of Mountain at the beginning, as well. Though its pace is pretty slow, it does pick up in a big way at the end with the track “Said N’ Done”, which is an infectious, super heavy rock n’ roll stomper.

Though it’s odd to see Neurot Recordings sign a band with the style of Iron Tongue, they are a label specifically geared towards bands that push genre limitations and create their own sound, which is something Iron Tongue is very good at. I think it’s refreshing to hear a band try to mix classic rock and doom metal and not actually rip off Black Sabbath or anyone else for that matter, something that makes this band even more worth listening to. (Brandon Ringo)

Purchase The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown here:  www.bluecollardistro.com/neurotrecordings

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