Ironbourne – Ironbourne

Ironbourne Cover Art

Ironbourne – Ironbourne
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 51:03
Review by Simon Black
6/10

Not to be confused with the very similarly spelt Northern Irish outfit, this act hails from Sweden and is a very NWOBHM influenced, but equally quite Modern Metal sounding act, with more than a few Stoner tropes, adding an ear-ringingly heavy layer to their sound. The constituent members have all been round the block a while, but this act is fairly recent in its incorporation however and, as a debut, makes an impressive opening salvo. I can’t find too much about them as beyond a Facebook page they don’t have too much of a web presence, which realistically is something you chaps need to fix if you ever get around to reading this.

One thing about this album, it’s wonderfully heavy without feeling overtly down tuned or depressive, which means despite most of the songs being fairly slow in pace, you are left with a largely up-beat feeling. It’s quite disconcertingly effective. The challenge is that too many of the tracks are equally paced in their delivery, so after the half way point in the album, you are craving for a change of pace. We get this with the highly impressive ballad ‘Too Late’, which gives the guitarists a chance to play acoustically, to the point that it almost feels like a completely different band. When another and much faster pace change comes quite late with the very positively speedy ‘Runaway’, you are left with the feeling that more variety would have made this a more interesting record. All the constituent parts work well though – these are musicians with a strong sense of mood and they know how to get a rich sound in the recording process and Torbjörn Andersson’s voice is loud, powerful and hypnotic. The epic closer ‘Year of Judgement’ probably encapsulates all the best elements and also dares to be a bit more experimental and trippy with the sound, adding a much-needed layer of reverb to add to that epic and haunting feeling.

The challenge I have with this album is not that there is absolutely nothing bad about it, but it just fails to deliver anything eyebrow-raisingly exceptional for a big chunk of its length and that’s down to too many of the songs feeling the same in pace and tone. All the tracks are absolutely competent enough, the musicians play well, the sound is rich and mature, but the song-writing sometimes lacks the punchy, dangerous edge that this sort of music thrives upon, although the three tracks I have called out absolutely do, making this an album that feels slightly unfinished. Perhaps this is just a symptom of a band that really need to be in the same physical space for the chemistry to fire up, so I would be curious to see what a live show looks like. When they vary the pace and become more experimental, this band soars and hopefully they can take those elements and run with them. Nonetheless, an impressive start.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Dreamer
02. Elusive Reality
03. Varsel
04. Twilight Of Gods
05. Too Late
06. Covenant
07. Hit The Wall
08. Runaway
09. Year Of Judgement

LINE-UP:
Torbjörn Andersson – Vocals
Olof Geijer – Guitars
Lars Andersson – Bass
Jonas Windle – Guitars
Stefan Viktorsson – Drums

LINKS:

Ironbourne Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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