(Album Review) IRONHAWK - Ritual of the Warpath (Dying Victims)
Release date: June 30, 2022
Written by Jeff Tighe
Although they have been in existence for almost a decade, this is the full-length debut from Tasmania's Ironhawk. The 37-minute, 10-song effort is a pummeling adventure in cross-over between thrash with dashes of punk. Consisting of Simon Slaughter (guitar, vocals), Mitch Bastard (drums) and Ange Upstart (bass), these Aussies must love 1980s thrash and punk because there are hints of them all over this album.
Kicking off with "The Final Crusade" it is clear from the unrelenting speed and Simon's guttural vocals that the listener is in for a noisy experience. The follow up song, "Signal to Oblivion" confirms that first thought with equally intense riffs. "Into the Circle" is reminiscent of mid-paced classic Venom in the vocal and musical styles.
The album continues with the same frantic thrash on songs such as "Dark Age" and "Escpae From the Void". Not only do these boys (and girl! Ed.) not take prisoners, they don't want to leave any bodies behind either - scorched earth all the way!
Arguably the best was saved for last with the instrumental title track completing the album. On this song in particular the band show off their writing skills with multiple time changes, various riffs and interesting guitar phrasings. More of this type of variety would be welcome on their next outing.
The biggest knock against this album is the production. Its wall-of-noise sound makes it very underground, but honestly, sometimes it is hard to discern between what is going on with the bass, guitar and bass drums. You can go along for the ride and just let the chaos engulf you, but it makes it less likely that you will reach for it in the future. Still the positives far outweigh the negatives.