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South of the Earth

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, 30 Sep 2013
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Metal Blade Records
  • ASIN: B00EC6VJYO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 644,552 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Vinyl
I saw these guys at The Garage in Islington as part of Rise Above Records' 25th anniversary gig and was absolutely blown away. Despite it being their first UK show, they absolutely blew the roof off the joint and were the best band of the night by far. After being wowed by their live show, I had to buy the LP.
I'm so glad I did, it is truly magnificent skull-thumping doom insanity. The riffs are immense, devastating montrous beasts and Screaming Dee's vocals are incredible; pure raw power. There is not a single weak song on this album, and in any sane world these guys would be massive.
If you like Doom Metal, you owe it to yourself to buy this, it really is incredible.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Doom Metal Classic 10 Jun. 2015
By Anthony Lucca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Most doom metal bands (speaking here of the classical heavy metalesque ones rather than doom/death ala Asphyx, early Cathedral, Acrostichon, etc.) seem to take a chunk of Black Sabbath's sound and run with it. Electric Wizard and Sleep take the psychedelic stoner stuff like "Sweet Leaf" and "Snowblind" and expound upon those elements to create their own sound. Saint Vitus expounds upon the minimalism of "Hand of Doom" and adds '80s hardcore punk thrashing to the mix. More pedestrian stoner metal acts like Kyuss simply take the rocking parts of "Paranoid" and the like and put them into alternative rock song structures.

Iron Man, however, understands Sabbath better than any other band I've come across (with the possible exception of Witchfinder General). They understand Sabbath as a sum-of-its-parts kind of band: '70s Italian horror movie soundtracks, dark classical music, heavy blues rock, various kinds of folk music, progressive rock, and instrumentalists like the Shadows. To most people, Sabbath are "the Iron Man band," but to Iron Man and other enlightened persons, they're also "the Looking for Today band," "the Wheels of Confusion band," "the Symptom of the Universe band."

That's not to say that Iron Man are simply cloning Sabbath here. Instead, they study all aspects of Sabbath and apply to their own musical philosophy. This results in an album where groovy thrashers like the title track can coexist with the prog-inflected despair of "Thy Brother's Keeper," the psychedelic mind-journey of "Hail to the Haze," and the folky interlude of "Ariel Changed the Sky."

What really propels this release into the stratosphere of the benighted doom metal genre is the subtlety of Alfred Morris III's guitar playing and how well it links up with Louis Strachan's basslines. The riffs sound simple at first, but then you'll try and jam them out on your guitar and realize how much weird stuff is going on. Pretty much every riff has multiple interchangeable components that allow for minute but powerful motif changes. It's often hard to tell where the guitar riff ends and the bass noodling begins, which is exactly how the best of Black Sabbath sounded.

Thus, most of these songs feel very baroque. You could re-title them Doom Metal Variation No. [insert number here] in C# minor and no one with any real musical knowledge would complain too much. Each song starts off running through the variations, which occasionally map out to verse/chorus but really feel more like a ballad (in the folk music sense of that word, not the "lighter-in-the-air" tiresomeness of Def Leppard et al.) or a mediation on musical concepts. Because of this, when the change-ups do come, they feel like earth-shattering events. Even then, a lot of times, they re-touch on motifs from earlier in the song in new ways, such as when the backing male chorus of the latter stages of "Hail to the Haze" reimagines the melody from the wah-pedal soaked intro to the song.

Pretty much every Iron Man album is worthy of your listening to it, but I'd say that this one is tied for first in their discography with The Passage. Some of the other albums feel more like collections of great tunes than a full album, but this one and The Passage are both 100% no b.s.well-constructed folios where each song is memorable and perfect in and of itself as well as in the context of the album as a whole. In other words, this isn't just a bunch of great songs; it's great album. The vocals are similarly varied in texture and incredibly well-done, but they are rather unorthodox for doom metal might take a while for some to get used to. Persevere through your initial doubts, and you will find a worthy modern day classic that should fit right in between Iron Maiden and Isengard on your CD shelf.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iron Man- A Great Rock Band 31 Oct. 2013
By Gwen J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I enjoy listening to this band-they are not just good rock music but give a very full sound- the song "hail to the haze" is very catchy-
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album 8 Oct. 2013
By TM - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I was so excited for Iron Man's first release on Rise Above Records and this did not disappoint! A solid metal album.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A STEP BACK 28 Jan. 2014
By Allan J. Quiett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'M A HUGE AL MORRIS FAN, HE FINALLY GOT A GREAT SINGER ON THE "I HAVE RETURNED" CD BUT THIS NEW SINGER DROPS THEM BACK DOWN A FEW NOTCHES
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'll just have to check out their earlier releases 2 Feb. 2014
By J. Palumbo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After many years of hearing whispers of this band's greatness I finally took the plunge. I so wanted to love this as I am a HUGE doom and traditional metal fan but it's just so...ordinary. Nothing in particular stands out for me. Not the riffs, not the songwriting, not the vocals. I went in with high expectations about this singer considering the praises I've read elsewhere but he is so often flat that it's frankly distracting. And what's with the lousy production in this day and age? You know what - it's fine. Not a bad album at all. Just not a great one either.
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