Doom Metal might sound like the most earth shattering, misery stricken genre of music ever but there is a certain inoffensive quality about it. Having its roots firmly planted in the beginnings of Metal with Black Sabbath there is surely no Metalhead that doesn’t enjoy a bit of Doom. Equally it is such a pliable sound that can be shaped to fit almost any other sub-genre creating Death Doom, Funeral Doom and so forth. So alas let them rejoice, it’s not all doom and gloom after all, embrace this glorious genre.
Iron Void may have formed in 1998 only to split in 2000 but it wasn’t until their reformation in 2008 that the band began to project themselves. Eventually in 2014 the UK based Doom legion unveiled their self-titled full length, a masterpiece and modern classic for Doom Metal. The following year saw the release of Doomsday, another album which commanded praise. Now we come to 2018 and the third chapter in Iron Void’s history, from Shadow Kingdom Records Iron Void present the mighty Excalibur.
A conceptual journey about the trials and tribulations of King Arthur in a Doom Metal setting, is there anything trver or should that be cliché? Jokes aside the subject matter is undeniably Metal and a total fail-safe for Iron Void, and as a matter of fact something which works in their favour striking a chord even with Power Metal fans. Speaking of the inclusion of other genres there is a certain Epic Heavy Metal nature about Excalibur drawn straight from the likes of Manilla Road and Visigoth. Songs such as Dragon’s Breath, Lancelot Of The Lake, The Grail Quest and A Dream To Some, A Nightmare To Others show this trait to the fullest extent.
The riffs throughout the album may be a touch basic and the vocals may be equally standard but there is a definite magic surrounding Iron Void. They seem to command a sort of back to basics, no messing about approach that can be easily digested by the Metal hordes, memorable, anthemic, fantasy lyrical themes, big riffs Excalibur has it all. With each listen I felt myself drawn closer to Iron Void and being a fan of their debut full length I expected a lot from them, alas this was no disappointment, rather a bolstering achievement to Iron Void’s ongoing legacy.
If you want a totally unwavering, epic, easy listen then grasp the handle of Excalibur and hold it aloft, assemble your knights of the round table and charge forth upon your quest for the grail. There are no killer rabbits, bridges of death or taunting Frenchmen to be seen in this epic journey of purist Metal might. A true joy, and whilst not bringing anything new to the kingdom of Camelot it is at least inoffensive and enjoyable by all who bask in the light of Metal.
(8/10 George Caley)