Artist: Sad Iron
Title: The Antichrist
Label: Dutch Steel
Review by Mike Keller
This is a cool band I have been a fan of for some years now that recently have been unearthed from obscurity by the internet haha. Sad Iron were from Holland and formed in 1979. Like most bands they underwent lineup changes early on and did the usual local gigs and had apparently won some kind of contest and ended up on a live compilation LP called Holland Heavy Metal Vol. 1 in 1982, then would record their debut (and absolute classic) album Total Damnation for the same label in 1983. I was turned on to this band 5-6 years ago by my great friend Johnny Deathrasher, who himself had actually found Total Damnation in a record shop back in the 80’s and had corresponded with them back then as well (he still has pictures, a letter, and even a T-shirt that they sent him). There were a handful of other people I knew who had heard of them, and they were just sorta one of those (mainly) forgotten bands.
Last year that Bart Gabriel guy I believe had remastered and re-released Total Damnation on CD with some bonus demo tracks, and now this just came out this year, their unreleased second album, so I have to assume anyway the band is getting some attention and what me and my friends refer to as “Awesome Irony” (when weird/forgotten bands that we all liked for years get dug up and championed by the metal masses haha). Their first album was highly aggressive and very mean in intent, but still musically followed a traditional Heavy Metal route. By 1985 Thrash was the new sound on the scene, and Sad Iron jumped right on it for their second album.
“We Play To Kill” kicks things off and wastes no time at all getting right to the speed. High energy with amazing passion in the vocals that only foreign bands trying to sing in English can accomplish (slightly off, but all heart and I always felt like these bands meant it more due to the language barrier ha), the lyrics of course are broken English as well, but it all adds to the intensity of everything and the general “Chaos” atmosphere this band puts off.
“You’re Obsessed” follows and kicks up the speed a notch from the song previous. Lyrically about some kind of dark power taking over the earth (most likely the devil or Satan or whatever). The Thrash is intense and fucking strong here. Nice dropdown to a crushing midpace in the middle of the song, before going back into the thrashing mayhem for the guitar solo til the songs end.
“Day Of Doom” is up next and again just goes off on a speedy run right away, I suppose the result of the power from the song previous taking over the earth and now set on ending it “Danger danger, sirens cry!!! They are coming tonight!!!! One eyed demons sons of Satan!!!! They are here to fight!!!!” not exactly thinkpiece lyrics haha, but again who the hell wants that? Wild, mean spirited, over the top Thrash is what you get here, and that to me is what Metal is supposed to be about. Leave the intellectualism to Yes or Rush haha.
“SM” closes out side 1 and as title implies, is an ode to Sado Masochist sex which was such a popular topic in Metal songs during that age. More in a midpaced (almost) Bluesy kinda Metal territory, I wonder if this was a leftover from the first album. Heavy as hell, Rockin as fuck, and fun edgy perv lyrics to boot haha. 1985 Metal might be my fav Metal overall haha. They go off on yet another speed run for the guitar solo in this one too, before returning to the Heavy Metal Mania for the song’s end.
“Powerthrash” opens side 2 with some spooky Horror type sound effects and some bizarre opera singing ha, again the territory of foreign Metal bands only haha. When the music kicks in it lives up to the title, all power all thrash, all mayhem. “Come on Thrashers!!! Join The Force!!! The world is ready for you!!!!” “Hellraisers, Metaltracers we’ll fight the universe!!!! Gather round, knock them down, we had to lose, the glory is ours all over town. Not we, but they have to choose, POWERTHRAAAASSSHHHHH!!!!!!” real nice anthem here. Their “Whiplash” if you will haha.
“Posers” comes next and again reminds me more of material on the first album, still fast speedy and high energy, but more of a Heavy Metal feel than a Thrash one, and again the title leaves little to the imagination about what the lyrics cover. They don’t like posers. That seems to be a bit of lost belief in today’s Metal world that I wish we could bring back. Stop embracing posers people, Paul Baloff is turning in his grave haha. This album has a great relentless feel with the energy and aggression as well just doesn’t let up no matter what and just pummels you the entire time.
“Where Warwinds Blow” follows, with a nice midpace headbanger intro buildup into yet another speedfest, almost Punk type lyrics about societal ills and the hypocrisy of the message Christianity sends, pretty standard. “Jesus Christ you’re a liar, you’re my friend no more. You promised us eternal life while death knocks on our door. Evil creatures and all that other scum, are really busy poisoning the earth we’re living on.”
“Living Like A Rat” is the album’s closer, opening with a nice bit of lead guitar destruction. More thrashing Heavy Metal madness on this one, lyrics just a testimony the Metal lifestyle. “With your leather, chains, and boots on people think you’re mad. They don’t understand your Metal minded head. It’s the sound of Thrashing walls that got you in it’s way. Let these motherfuckers die now, live your life your way, LIVING LIKE A RAT!!!!” another good anthem.
It’s crazy that it took 30 years for this album to be released, but thank fuck it was. Apparently Sad Iron reunited in the late 90’s, and have been playing gigs in their homeland ever since. Given the recent interest from the international Metal world there is even talk of a new album from these guys, so I guess we shall see. I wish an American promoter would bring them over instead of shitty bands like Grim Reaper haha. A+