Label: Relapse Records
I don’t know at what point would Iron Monkey be if the band’s frontman Johnny Morrow hadn’t died in 1999. All I know is that they would be as frustrated as now. And we’re talking about real, raw anger. Moreover, I don’t know how many of you lot have happily embraced the band’s reunion, simple because Jim Rushby is again in the band’s lineup (Jim Rushby had left the band before its hiatus). Nonethleess, don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t rush to reach any conclusions. The ‘Sabbath’ sludge / doom hardcore, which seemed strange to the bulk of the traditional heavy metal fans / supporters of the extreme sound in our country, was not appreciated in a timely manner. Now, with a cult name and after 18 years of silence, the release of this album is one of the events of the year. Sincerely, labels play a minor role in trying to describe this album. The record sounds extreme for the average stoner, who would kill for such filthy sound, enough Iommy-oriented for the average sludge guy, whose dreamy musical swamp cannot touch such doom references and too heavy as a sound for the average hardcore punk guy. Or is all this just foolish and simple theories? Probably or at least that’s what I want to believe because I cannot find a reason for the album 9-13 not to touch heterogeneous or similar musical subgenres. The vocals have been taken over by Rushby, who vomits hatred for humanity in a crescendo of nihilism that overflows from our speakers. Maybe he could have avoided to sound similar to Morrow or maybe he does that on purpose just to give a feeling of continuity of the band after its long – lasting absence. Nine tracks of pure hatred, with a few hopes for it being social. Musically speaking, the record is close to the guitars of the band’s debut in 1997. Founding members Jim Rushby (guitars, vocals) and Steve Watson (bass) joined their forces with Chaos UK’s drummer Scott “Brigga” Briggs – – who substituted Justin Greaves – with hopes of creating an album worthy of the legacy they created back in the ’90s. The lyrical themes are characterized by a orientation that stands for total refusal of any theoretical or practical values. Nihilism, in all its glory and riffs that create a huge sonic wall. “Crown of Electrodes”, “Omega Mangler” , “Mortarhex” and the title track stand out. For the sake of it, 9-13 stands for I-M (Iron Monkey). I is the ninth letter in the English alphabet, where as M is the thirteenth.