There’s a ton of theories and assumptions about how the origin of man – like, homo erectus man or sapient man – went down, but common among them is one thing: a lot of ass was likely beat in the process. We beat, kill, maim, hurt, and hunt each other now, over nothing! Can you imagine how hard primitive man went? Probably as hard as the band of that same name. Such is the topic of discussion with today’s premiere, and don’t worry, I’m fully qualified to lead us – I’ve seen The Flintstones.
This is something Edinburgh’s Iron Altar understand on a visceral level and are here to tell you about in no uncertain terms. Stirring together a concoction of death and sludge metal with some lightly progressive garnish, their heavy-as-hell new album Promethean aims to explore those themes with all the weight and violence you’d expect. It comes out September 29 via Trepanation Recordings, but you can peep an advance track right here, right now, by the name of “Hunted”, so ‘hunt’ for that play button and let’s get into it.
This is some good-ass sludge. With all the power of an oversized club, “Hunted” bludgeons you right in the brain stem with tight guitar work and a dreadful sense of doom with how it paces itself. This five-piece accelerates when needed, like a starving beast using its last crumb of stamina to latch onto protein-packed prey, and pulls back into a slower drudge after the feast. It’s a nice dynamic Iron Altar has going for the five-minute track. It’s dense and caloric, the proper meal for anyone who likes their metal elephantine without sacrificing the tenets of melody and progression.
Having perused the entirety of Promethean, “Hunted” seems to be a crucial aspect of the album. Not only is this track a more digestible feat in the bigger picture, perfect for use as a single, but it’s an early climax in an album full of berserk, animalistic rage and wrath, as primal as its subject. The harshly bellowed vocals do all they can to instill a fear the likes of which can only be found in our untamed wilds of the world, a snarl from the bushes before you become a piece of meat between the teeth of an apex predator.
You too can get your unga bunga on by listening to Promethean when it drops on September 29 on Trepanation Recordings – preorder it on Bandcamp. You can join Iron Altar‘s hunting party by following them on Facebook and Instagram. Bring your sharpest spear.