Under the Blood Moon contains 37 minutes of riotous fun and escapist storytelling. Mixing stoner metal with sludge heaviness, Mother Iron Horse’s music is easy to like; the band just want to party hard and crush some skulls with their sludgy stoner metal, what’s not to like? Mother Iron Horse clearly just want to rock out and kick out the jams; they just want to do so a lot harder, heavier, and angrier than most who play this style.
The thick bass is very welcome, and the drums solid and weighty. It’s the guitars where the real action is though. Mother Iron Horse worship at the altar of The Riff, and on Under the Blood Moon they show off their devotion in no uncertain terms. The guitars groove and pummel, unleashing heavy riffs with wild abandon. The sludge influences make for a heavier listen than is the norm, but the band don’t lose their accessible side because of this.
The songs are well-written and show a good understanding of structure, dynamics, and how to utilise a sharp hook. There is a good mix of paces and ideas, including an acoustic presence on occasion, which demonstrates that the band aren’t limited to purely peeling off giant walls of distortion 100% of the time.
The vocals are rough and ready, but not without the ability to hold a good tune. The screams are far more harsh and than you’d typically expect on a record like this, further underlining the sludge influences in the band’s sound, and this is augmented by clean singing that works well.
Under the Blood Moon is an easy album to recommend for people that like their stoner/sludge metal heavy and in-your-face. If that’s you, then give this a try.