In their new song “Mortality” the Scottish band Iron Altar musically harness their own four horsemen of the apocalypse. Although one might imagine the ravages of the biblical foursome of Death, Famine, War, and Conquest, the song spawns powerful visions of Rage, Madness, Desolation, and Despair, inflicted not by some world-ending divinity but by a deeply flawed humanity.
As you will soon discover for yourselves through our premiere of a video for the song, Iron Altar create such harrowing impressions through a relentlessly dynamic and multi-faceted piece of heavy-grooved deathly sludge that hits very hard on multiple levels. And it’s no outlier, because the band’s new album Promethean (their second full-length) is a powerhouse experience all the way through. It’s set for release on September 29th by Trepanation Recordings.
The fury and the madness in “Mortality” come through first, as the product of ruthlessly jolting grooves, boiling guitar swarms, terrifying screams, and monstrous roars. As the riffing evolves while the pile-driver beatings continue, it channels cold-eyed, heavyweight cruelty interspersed with chords that drag and moan — but those cauterizing screams also keep the rage and the madness at the forefront of the assault.
But the song does become desolate too. The pace slows dramatically; the bass clangs like falling girders; the music heaves like a massive leviathan, dragging the listener behind it through tarry bogs of death. Still heavy as hell, the music also begins to groan, wail, and throb in despair — and then to swell again in power, accented by discordant tones, creating an even more towering portrait of calamity.
However, lest any listeners still have any teeth that haven’t been knocked out yet, these Scots start inflicting rapid start-stop sledgehammer blows, and then explode in one final frenzy of crazed riffing, hyper-crazed vocals, and rampant percussive obliteration.
We’d also like to give a round of applause for the video, because it’s almost as frightening and fascinating as the music. See for yourselves:
IRON ALTAR – Promethean personnel:
Vocals – Andrew Callis
Guitars/Vocals – Neil Mathers
Guitars – Dan Drever
Bass – Greg Armstrong
Drums – Linz Mackenzie Conway
Promethean was produced, mixed, and engineered by Lewis Johns (The Ranch Production House), and it was mastered by Grant Berry (Fader Mastering). It features the colorfully eye-catching cover artwork of Kelvin Doran (Serpent Tusk Studio).
Below you’ll find links providing pre-order opportunities and more info about the band and the album — and we’re also including a stream of the album’s first video single, “Megalith“, which provides a good chance to see what these mind-maulers and body-manglers are like in a live performance (and a reminder that screaming can almost sound like singing, and that being bruised and broken can be exhilarating).