Sometimes it seems that things that just shouldn't fit together just do, joining malignantly side by side, somehow complimenting each other despite their obvious differences. When this happens in music, it usually signals the beginning of something out of the ordinary, a challenge that makes people sit up and listen. Iron Monkey force you to take note the first time around - although you'll probably question why, a hundred spins later, 'Iron Monkey' still has its cruel hooks in your head. The answer is simple - when a noise this heavy is bludgeoned into a musical vision as disturbingly intense as this, you can't help but give in and admit defeat. And yet Iron Monkey shouldn't really fit at all.
'Iron Monkey' is a blistering collection of spine-wrenching, bowel shaking sludgecore met head on by a vocal attack that really shouldn't be possible. The end result is a fearsome mass of unashamed, uncompromising heaviness. If 'doom metal' is a dirty term these days, bringing to mind ageing hippies decked out in colourful flares living in a stoned-out haze, then Iron Monkey will obliterate that image in one monstrous riff. Their doom fest is a truly sick attack on the senses, and a challenge to re-invent the doom model by making every riff instantly memorable, assaulting the accepted and expected not only with its gargantuan heaviness, but with a vocal sting that rages without mercy. Anywhere else, this combination wouldn't work, but Iron Monkey make it work.
When this crushing mindblast gathers pace, it becomes an enjoyably uncomfortable experience. Extreme vocals spit a relentless stream of pent up frustration throughout, yet tracks like 'Web Of Piss' and 'Big Loader' are even able to groove along, sounding perversely pleasant as they bulldoze their way into the brain. Whilst Iron Monkey certainly don't hide their influences, they are never as blatant as to rip them off, mutating them instead into an ugly concept for the Nineties. Iron Monkey don't blast, they don't grind, nor do they f**k about. They do rock in a big, sick way, each song a dirty, oozing trail of brutalised chords, relentless rhythms and sub-human throat annihilation.
In an age where songs are sacrificed for extremity, Iron Monkey combine both songwriting ability and an attitude that is just on the right side of controlled aggression. Fans of St Vitus, Trouble and The Obsessed would be quick to acknowledge the quality of the sounds on offer - fans of the more extreme brand of sonic torment will get off on the harshness and undoubted heaviness. In truth, Iron Monkey should appeal to all those who yearn for the diverse, the original and the exciting.
Probably the heaviest debut in a long time, 'Iron Monkey' hits you where it hurts - only this time the pain never felt so good.