CD Review: Iron Age

The Sleeping Eye (Tee Pee)

It's a safe guess that most of Iron Age's iPods would reveal Metallica's Kill 'Em All and other vintage thrash as influences. Singer Jason Tarpey's iPod, on the other hand, would surely sport a playlist packed with tunes by metal/hardcore crossover legends Disfear. While the guitars on The Sleeping Eye are chugging, riffing and ripping with beefy glee, Tarpey growls like he spent his winter months in the harsh cold and extended dark of Sweden. This combination allows Iron Age to utilize a checks-and-balances songwriting system. If the rapid-fire riffs start to sound like a Thrash 101 clinic, Tarpey re-invents them with his harsh tone. Conversely, if Tarpey's grunts and groans start to get too atonally heavy, the band undercuts him with melodic precision and moody backdrops. These are the sorts of tricks needed for an album where half of the songs exceed the five-minute mark. Ultimately, Iron Age's fluid hybridization keeps The Sleeping Eye epic-sounding instead of merely tiresome. — Whelihan