Rituals Of The Warpath


IRONHAWK are a mix of hardcore, punk and thrash metal who are rising from the […]
July 5, 2022
Ironhawk - Rituals Of The Warpath album cover

IRONHAWK are a mix of hardcore, punk and thrash metal who are rising from the city of Tasmania in Australia as the power trio began their journey in 2012. They were put together by ex members of BASTARD SQUAD and THE WIZARD which include vocalist/guitarist SIMON SLAUGHTER and bassist ANGE UPSTART alongside drummer VYVYAN BASTERD, ex member of VULGAR. It was said that 'their tributes to MOTORHEAD in various settings eventually became the an early-to-mid 80's metallic hardcore punk/thrash crew in the style of post-DISCHARGE crank outta the U.K., soon recording a substantial demo tape in 2013 which eventually landed on Ol' Rusty's Heavy Chain Records(as Boozehounds From Hell)by next year'.

After their EP release, the speed metal trio were on the brink of releasing what was their second EP titled CEMETERY OF STEEL in 2017. Now they are giving us their debut album RITUALS OF THE WARPATH which 'is that leap, spanking the concrete well beyond the expectations set by their formative material and by way of taking a real step into their street punk/UK82 and punk-adjacent NWOBHM inspirations'. The intro track is the "The Final Crusade" as crows fly about and then a blistering guitar riff reaps havoc as drums come in to muddy the waters.

Crazy as ever the speed elements of guitar and drums shatter the audio spectrum. There are epic guitar hooks that don't stop drums from interrupting the incoming assault. "Signal To Oblivion" as the gateway into hell-raising speed metal has so much charisma with guitar and drums making worthy contributions. Vocals shout and echo throughout as the madness is continuous. "Into The Circle" very much carries on the same theme from before. The stimulating guitar hooks and throttling bass that punches through the mix is misogynistic. Drums lead the charge as the guitar slightly varies, the tempo remains bleeding til it pours out all its inner soul. "Sanctimony" also has that drop kick guitar hook as drums include more cymbal hits which confirms the extreme speed metal tone biting the bullet so to speak.

Rumbling drums set a light to the implosive behaviour as we hear amplifier effects going into "Eternal Winter". A different sort of approach this time as drums take command where guitar follows this enhanced tempo more technical and precise. Drums even take a solo over riveting guitar projecting so well. Another short solo for drums takes us into "Dark Age" as there is a drum crescendo for guitar to accompany. Quick cymbal hits after guitar rampage sets the standard as the guitar becomes more mellow as well towards the end. "Escape The Void" as the momentum is as consistent as before where drums are in the driving seat as vocals also set the narrative.

The tempo slows down later on in the track as the track slowly decays into a gradual diminuendo. "Doomsday Rider" fires into action as heavy beastly vocals use electric guitar to guide this roadrunner of a track. The tempo is galloping fast and pounding every drum beat as we soldier on into "Gates Of Beyond". Drums are stirring in the underbelly of a wild animal as vocals cut through like a stab in the dark. Guitar grits its teeth hungry for devastating speed metal intuition as the track doesn't hold back with cymbal hits quickening. Finally we come to the final hurdle which is "Rituals Of The Warpath" as the processed guitar sound leads to a build up in drums.

So far no sign of vocals joining in but we can hear pulsating elements of hardcore speed metal. The tempo does slow down but then picks up the pace as the guitar performs to its highest standard. There is no turning back nor time to steady the ship as it sails into ascending heights. Overall its definitely an album worth listening to and it certainly has that influence of MOTORHEAD plus 80's speed metal topped off with hardcore punk. However the guitar and drums were becoming a bit repetitive but it is quite likely this was done to give the speed metal a dark twist.

6 / 10

Had Potential








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"Rituals Of The Warpath" Track-listing:

1. The Final Crusade
2. Signal To Oblivion
3. Into The Circle
4. Sanctimony
5. Eternal Winter
6. Dark Age
7. Escape The Void
8. Doomsday Rider
9. Gates Of Beyond
10. Rituals Of The Warpath

Ironhawk Lineup:

Simon Slaughter - Vocals + Guitars
Ange Upstart - Bass Guitar
Vyvyan Basterd - Drums

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