Sunday, July 21, 2013


I've recently heard some (unsubstantiated) rumours about Texas' masters of cross-over metal mayhem Iron Age being back together, playing some shows and having some new material to unveil. I read it once on some American forum and nowhere else so I have no idea how true something like this is.
The band obviously took a much more obscure metal path over the course of it's life and those last few recordings before they split up were clearly a far different beast from the early days of the bands demo. This "Burden Of Empire" single came out around mid 2007 in various forms for various market places. Discogs does nothing to help, but I remember seeing a photo of someones collection once and there would have easily been 10+ differing covers. All with a red sleeve and black ink. Some red vinyl versions are floating around out there, but I have no idea how many. Mine are black. The versions I've got here are the "OZ" press (the band never toured here, but had a local distro print up an unknown amount of Australian specific covers) and the 'Virgin Sacrifice' cover of 50 copies that was sold at Youngblood Fest. I know that specific UK and EU covers were also produced along with other various limited variations (likely sold in the USA). Recorded, pressed and distributed out of singer Jason Tarpey's own back pocket using his previous cassette tape specific label Next Level to finance upcoming proper recordings.
 The single title track from the slab was of a considerably rougher recording than anything the band had done previously, but in this incarnation was always my favourite release of theirs. Before this single came about I was already quite familiar with the LP that came before it, "Constant Struggle" and the demo tape, but this version of the track was by far the bands crowning moment of glory for me. As noted, it had taken even more of a metal edge than earlier stuff, Jason's vocals were getting really deranged, and the rough as fuck, blown out recording was pure genius. The version of the track that followed on the bands second album was still quite good, but never really grabbed me like this version did.

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