Saturday 8 June 2019

Mother Iron Horse - The Lesser Key (Album Review)

Release date: May 17th 2019. Label: Hellmouth/Electric Valley Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Lesser Key – Tracklisting

1.Gehenna 04:51
2.House Of Ba'al 05:05
3.Scepter Of Ice 05:12
4.Basilisk 03:38
5.Heaven's Gate 03:27
6.L' Inferno 02:47
7.The Curse 04:03
8.In Effigy 04:36
9.The Lesser Key 04:21


Adam Luca
Marco Medina
Devin Fields
Chris Kobialka.


The Lesser Key is the new album from Mother Iron Horse and it’s a groove laiden throwback to seventies Hard Rock, Doom Metal and Heavy Metal sounds. The album has a creepy occult rock/metal feel to it as well though the band aren’t afraid of embracing their Stoner Metal roots as well.

Inspired by bands such as Motorhead, High On Fire, Black Sabbath, Uncle Acid and Electric Wizard. There is a quite a lot of different styles of music on this album but Mother Iron Horse manage to create a trippy and heavy vibrant sound. The album is quite raw in places but the production is still superb that allows the band to show off their undeniable talent from start to finish.

Opening song – Gehenna – is a creepy and vintage sounding song with Mother Iron Horse playing a familiar style of Doom/Stoner Metal music though putting their own creative spin on the song. The music is heavy from the start and the Sabbath style riffs has a few psychedelic elements lurking in the background. The vocals have a real menacing presence to them and even though the vocals do feel slightly out of place at first, however they become ever more confident as the song progresses to its natural conclusion.

Second song – House Of Ba’al – has a High On Fire influence with the heavy guitars being the main driving force of the song. Mother Iron Horse experiment with their sound on this song and this song does see the band become ever more confident especially when they play a more psychedelic blend of Doom/Stoner Metal on certain parts of the song.

Third song – Scepter Of Ice – is one of the standout songs on the album as the band play a fast-paced and furious blend of Heavy Metal, Doom Metal and Stoner Metal with a twinge of Heavy Sludge Rock appearing that keeps the whole mood vibrant and quite angry at the same time. The vocals are excellent and have more of an OTT style compared to the other songs on the album.

Fourth song – Basilisk – carries on the progressive vintage sound but with a slightly more modern style of music holding everything together. The song does take time to fully get moving along but once it does Mother Iron Horse impress with some epic guitar solos and intense lyrics to match as well. Perhaps one of the gloomiest and angriest songs held on the album.

The second half of the album is where the heaviest riffs appear especially on songs such as Heaven’s Gate, The Curse, In Effigy and The Lesser Key. Though L’Inferno was a cool acoustic song that reminded me of Ancient VVisdom and their blend of Semi Acoustic Doom based Rock. The song has a haunting psychedelic quality to it that I wanted to hear more of.

The music is more varied on the second half of the album and I admire the use of different genres and sounds that Mother Iron Horse adapt for these songs with Heaven’s Gate and The Lesser Key being the best tracks contained on the album.

The Lesser Key is a stellar release from Mother Iron Horse and will please just about everyone who is a fan of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe