Released: 2015, PRC Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hailing out of Québec, Canada, Succubus Irons comes forth with the first album. Featuring a two members; Geneviève Francoeur, who handles every instrument possible, and vocalist Doom (from the band Doom’s Day) who handles vocals and electric guitar. The band is also known for playing a Doom/Progressive Metal style which is always an interesting concept. Although, they tell us that the band has many bands that are to be credited for their style, such as Manilla Road, Paradise Lost, King Diamond and Opeth. That’s a tall order for sure. They even mention that “this isn't for everyone” but that just means one should come in with an open mind.
The music itself is an interesting presentation. Instead of having a lead and rhythm guitar, it’s a lead and an acoustic guitar. It’s a bit jarring at first, but it’s a surprisingly nice and different sound not often heard in the metal scene. As stated earlier, it’s Doom and Progressive Metal, whereas I’d put more emphasis on the Doom aspect with Progressive second. Once again, these are two sub genres of metal that work well together, so I was quite happy with this combo.
The album itself starts with an instrumental intro, helping to set the tone of the album, which then leads us into our first track, being The Gorgon’s Lullaby. This song introduces us to Doom’s vocals and I like how they have that forlorn tone to them. They are also able to be heard through the music as well, not being buried in the background, but rather they are heard and clear for the listener to understand. We are also introduced to a reoccurring theme on this album, and that is Greek Mythology. Although this album isn’t a concept album with one over arcing story, each song has the central theme within them. The sound of the album may be the most important aspect. It’s not a huge sound, but I found it to be a bit more “laid-back” compared to most bands that want to be as heavy as possible. This allows every instrument to be heard, especially the acoustic guitar which guides each song and the listener on journeys through songs (like in the song Rise of the Argonauts)
Another note I need to make about this album is that it’s just shy of 32 minutes long, which is unheard of in this day and age for a full length release. This also means that many of the songs are shorter songs, with the longest song being just under 5:30 (once again it’s Rise of the Argonauts). This works to their advantage as with a shorter length, no song truly overstays its welcome. I feel if these songs were 7 to 8 minutes, this would have been a terribly boring album, whereas having lengths averaging 3:58 is a smart idea, which allows you to get the meat in have no room for the fat.
My only complaint was that I felt the songs on the bottom third of the album didn't really do anything, as I felt I had heard all of the tricks that Succubus Irons had used. That is, until the last track, which is an instrumental and is what I would call the right way to end an album. The song is the only one that starts off with a dose of power, compared to the other songs which tend to be a little more laid back. The song itself has the sound of marching off to war with an ominous fadeout, adding to the atmosphere and theme.
I can truly say I was not bored listening to this album and I can say that by the time I looked back at the track list to see where I was, I was almost done. This does not mean the tracks blend into each other, the album just goes by that quickly.
I do find it odd that the band stated “We acknowledge this is not for everybody, but any avid and open minded metal fans should at least investigate this album”. With a tagline like that, you would expect it to be an avant-garde experience, which it can be for those for don’t care much for Progressive Metal, but this isn't going all over the place. It’s an enjoyable experience for those who are fans of Progressive as well as Doom metal, but for the bands mentioned I would suggest it more for fans of Paradise Lost and Opeth than Manilla Road. For anyone else, it’s a quick and enjoyable listen for those looking for something new to listen to.
Reviewed By Josh