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His Name Was Iron - "Chariots For Hire" (CD)

His Name Was Iron - "Chariots For Hire" CD cover image

"Chariots For Hire" track listing:

1. I Calls 'Em Like I Sees 'Em
2. Down With The Thickness
3. The Fallen
4. How About A Little Fire Scarecrow?
5. Five's A Party
6. Go With God And A Bag Full Of Guns
7. the Fool
8. Sticks And Stones
9. Small Islands Keep Secrets
10. Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die

Reviewed by on September 3, 2010

"From the title on down, 'Go With God And A Bag Of Guns' is 20 pounds of attitude in a 10-pound bag, powered by a galloping drumbeat, screaming vocals and a punk-infused guitar line."

In the post-Pantera era, there have been plenty of bands to try and work out a variation of the hard-partying and even harder-rocking formula that Dime, Vinnie and the boys worked out back in the day. On their full-length debut, "Chariots For Hire," His Name Was Iron tries a variation that features sludgy Pantera riffs and hardcore vocals married to the skater-friendly sounds of the Vans Warped Tour. It's not a perfect marriage, by any means, but it's hard to say that the experiment is a total failure.

The band really nails it on "The Fallen," a track that features Ryan Porter's best clean vocals, segueing well into a shouted section and back again, with a great chorus. It's got a simple, driving riff from guitarists Even Paluszynski and Josh Scott.

"How About A Little Fire, Scarecrow" also works well, with a hiccuping guitar riff and some fairly cool speed changes. From the title on down, "Go With God And A Bag Of Guns" is 20 pounds of attitude in a 10-pound bag, powered by a galloping drumbeat, screaming vocals and a punk-infused guitar line.

Unfortunately, the album also features a lot of tracks like "I Calls 'Em Like I Sees 'Em" and "Small Islands Keep Secrets," in which there are so many stops and starts that it's really hard to figure out what's going on. Drummer Shaun Taunton's parts do little or nothing to ease the listener through tunes like this, making them feel strangely arhythmic. Still, even the most uneven tunes at least had sections that made my ears perk up.

His Name Was Iron's "Chariots For Hire" tries to marry southern metal to skate-friendly harmonies — and often succeeds. That said, a little more effort in the melody and rhythm areas on the band's next release would be greatly appreciated.

Highs: "The Fallen," "How About A Little Fire, Scarecrow" and "Go With God And A Bag Full Of Guns."

Lows: Too many tracks that feel a bit lacking in the areas of rhythm and coherent melodies.

Bottom line: Southern metal meets the Vans Warped Tour, with mixed results.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)