Review Summary: On their second full-length album, these German metallers bring us an array of juicy riffs to heabang to
Entering the scene in 2011 with their debut album Exit Eden
, Earthship got into a fast start. Boasting hard-hitting riffs and interesting song structures, Exit Eden
was a solid first effort, but more than that, it was a great building block. Earthship prove that on their 2012 follow up, titled Iron Chest
, where everything has been kicked up a notch. The riffs are heavier and juicier, the production is louder, and the continuously changing time signatures give Iron Chest
some real staying power. What was done well on Exit Eden
is done admirably on Iron Chest
– one of the great sludge/stoner albums of 2012.
There’s not much else one needs to know about Iron Chest
other than it riffs and it riffs hard. It’s sludgy stoner metal with an occasional doomy vibe – aka it has been done before about a million times, but boy it still tastes good when done well (like a fat, juicy steak). The aforementioned unorthodox time signatures give the whole thing a quirky feel, upping its replay value, and the groovy, heavy, stoner-tinged guitar riffs keep the listener coming back for more. Just listen to the title track – the main riff just grabs you into a headlock and refuses to let go (and the soothing solo in the middle of the song ain’t bad either). Despite me saying that Earthship’s sound is entirely familiar, Iron Chest
has so much going on that not once does the feeling of boredom creep near – even if the riffs are the focal point here, the song compositions are damn cool as a one big whole. It may be a tried and tested style they play, but that doesn’t mean Earthship can’t or don’t add a little something something that makes them stand out from the crowd. Varying vocal techniques (with the gruff vocals having some real grit in them), multiple guitar layers and energetic drumming all make Iron Chest
so much more than your run-of-the-mill sludge/stoner album.
Riffing its way into our mind (and soul), Earthship’s latest only further proves that enthusiasts of the genre should keep a keen eye on this highly promising German band. With Iron Chest
, Earthship show that they can make two great records back to back and elevate their sound in the process. Taking this into account, I wouldn’t be surprised if their third outing would turn out to be a real masterpiece already. Definitely belonging among the cream of the crop this year in the sludge/stoner field, Iron Chest
is a very satisfying metal album through and through, so grab a copy and headbang away, because this one deserves it.