Australian metal keeps getting better, this time with Ironstone’s debut “Prophecy” (review)

Ironstone, 2020

Some of the best bands in metal today are coming out of the Australian continent. Polaris, Northlane, In Hearts Wake, Make Them Suffer, the list goes on and on. Today, it gets larger with Ironstone and their debut EP, Prophecy.

“Downpour” begins with a storm as the backdrop before a sitar hook. The vocals and use of synth are reminiscent of Dream Theater, while the instruments are a smooth djent akin to Twelve Foot Ninja. The uncleans are quite raw, a bit jarring after the pretty cleans, but emphasize the words “here comes the downpour!”

The single and my introduction to the band, “Bound” nails reeling in the listener with its intro riff. Chugging triplets are brought out well from the punchy production, as well. Highlights here go to the synth line in the bridge and the hard-hitting outro. “Better Unseen” is the heaviest yet, interestingly layering a strong breakdown under a melody in the middle.

“Killed a Man” is tongue-in-cheek with its lyrics, but satisfying enough instrumentally to avoid skip territory. “Hollow” has a compelling time signature section a minute and a half in, and really lets the clean vocals shine in the chorus. “Origin” is the standout track on Prophecy, bringing me back to when I first heard Northlane’s Mesmer, as the EP comes to a close.

Talk about a great start for Ironstone. Prophecy has plenty of accessible djent/prog cues to spark interest in fans of the genres. If I had any suggestions for the band’s future, it’s to explore a bit lyrically and to make the unclean vocals less shrill, but that’s a personal nitpick. By all means, Ironstone is worth listening to, as the potential for this young band is plentiful!

A review copy of Prophecy was provided courtesy of Black-Roos Entertainment.