Mother Iron Horse - The Lesser Key Album Review [2019 Hellmouth/Electric Valley Records]
About the band
Mother Iron Horse has only been around for a year or so after starting Hellmouth Records. In that time they have built a custom studio and rig workshop, recorded a killer Holloween EP called The Curse, signed onto an International Deal with Electric Valley Records, and now offers their debut full length album The Lesser Key.
With such a progressive year behind them, we wonder the following diving into the new album:
Will the sound of the album differ from The Curse in regards to production quality?
Will this album retain the Doom “infuzzed” edge on tope of even more metal styled riffage?
“Sex, Drugs, and Sacrelege”. A classic yet never tiresome motto for any rock band. How does this carry into the album lyrically?
The Lesser Key
The album starts out with the well written intro track “Gehenna”. You learn immediately that this will be a completely different beast than The Last Curse. With a more tightly polished and slightly more compressed sound that brings out the Sabbath-ladden style of riffs mixed with the dark vibe of Electric Wizard, the song sets the tone for the album. The songwriting style thoughout this album sounds more collaborative and diverse than expected without losing their core (and what I assume to be signiture) sound. Even with the more finely tuned “Basilisk” and “The Curse” [from their previous EP] you can hear the extra mile given to The Lesser Key.
The riffs are sludgy and fuzz infused, but it's not overdone. In fact, I would go so far as to say “just right”. While there is some acoustic work, the beautifully mastered riffs, screaming yet sometimes occultic vocals, artillery grade drum work keeping up a nice pace throughout the album, and a crystal clear bass jamming some groovy chords up front with the riffs all make this album a little more than a half hour getaway.
My only complaint was that I had trouble understanding the lyrical content. While this in no way harmed the outcome of The Lesser Key, you still get the “Sex, Drugs, and Sacrelege” feeling that the new breed of Doom Metal is passing over into this new generation of a rapidly growing scene.
I've heard this album a few times in the past 24 hours. As I write this, I believe it's my fourth go around and I haven't grown tired of it once. Not one song fails to deliver what Mother Iron Horse has promised since signing with Electric Valley Records back in January. In fact, I would give this album running for one of the top Doom/Sludge albums of the year due to the fact that everything rock and roll is about Mother Iron Horse and The Lesser Key. At the rate they're going, I see big things happening for them. There are well-built machine ready to take on the world, and I seriously hope The Lesser Key is just the start of their journey. I can see the band riding motorcycles killing every show and making new friends along the way. What's not to like about any of this?
Another thing I'd like to state is that this was a DIY approach with the album on all fronts. This is DIY done right with the proper investment and strategy. A special thanks for setting an example of what this concept is supposed to be about beyond not having enough investment which creates a lacklustre product. DIY isn't just VSTs and Fruity Loops, post on Soundcloud, share social media and claim its DIY while waiting for someone to notice. If that's the route you go, you get what you put in it, but as Mother Iron Horse has shown, if you want something bad enough, with the right plan and execution, you can make it happen without label backing to start with. Just provide your own backing from your own resources and the rest will follow.
As far as this writer is concerned, Mother Iron Horse is here, and witnessing them destroy your town when they arrive seems more like a privilege and a right. So I would recommend checking them out and grabbing a copy of The Lesser Key while copies are still available.