IRON MONKEY
Sludge Metal • United Kingdom

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Iron Monkey is a sludge metal band formed in Nottingham in England in 1994.

https://ironmonkey.bandcamp.com/

The original members were Justin Greaves (Drums), Johnny Morrow (Vocals), Jim Rushby (Guitar), Steve Watson (Guitar) and Doug Dalziel (Bass). The members all had experience playing in the English underground and they each brought different influences to the fold. The group's sound was influenced by the doom metal and crust punk genres and in particular by bands such as Grief, Black Sabbath and Eyehategod. The end result is a ghastly combination of vitriolic aggression, downtuned riffage, huge underlying grooves and inhuman screams.

The band's early gigs were intense affairs with drunken mayhem leading to the destruction of instruments and equipment, helping to generate their brutal reputation. The group wrote a six song album that was released originally on the small imprint Union Mill before being put out by Nottingham label Earache Records. Before the deal was
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9-139-13
Relapse 2017
Audio CD$10.67
$6.00 (used)
Our Problem/Iron MonkeyOur Problem/Iron Monkey
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$12.35
Iron MonkeyIron Monkey
EP
Earache Records 1997
Audio CD$228.33
Our ProblemOur Problem
Earache Records 1999
Audio CD$49.99
$53.95 (used)
We've Learned Nothing / Murder CompanyWe've Learned Nothing / Murder Company
Man's Ruin 2000
Audio CD$229.98
$29.96 (used)
Ruined By IdiotsRuined By Idiots
Maniac Beast 2003
Audio CD$79.94 (used)
We've Learned Nothing / Murder Company by Iron Monkey (2000-04-24)We've Learned Nothing / Murder Company by Iron Monkey (2000-04-24)
Man's Ruin Records--Mordam--
Audio CD$359.35
Our Problem by Iron MonkeyOur Problem by Iron Monkey
Earache Records
Audio CD$93.39
Iron Monkey / Our Problem By Iron Monkey (2012-07-02)Iron Monkey / Our Problem By Iron Monkey (2012-07-02)
Earache Records
Audio CD$54.83
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IRON MONKEY Discography

IRON MONKEY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Iron Monkey
Sludge Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Our Problem
Sludge Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
9-13
Sludge Metal 2017

IRON MONKEY EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We've Learned Nothing
Sludge Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Iron Monkey / Church of Misery
Sludge Metal 1999

IRON MONKEY live albums

IRON MONKEY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

IRON MONKEY re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Iron Monkey / Our Problem
Sludge Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ruined by Idiots: Live and Unleashed
Sludge Metal 2002

IRON MONKEY singles (0)

IRON MONKEY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

IRON MONKEY Reviews

IRON MONKEY 9-13

Album · 2017 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Existing in the concrete jungles and unheard of for almost two decades, the Nottingham simians IRON MONKEY swing off their vines and onto the world’s stage once again. Having formed in the 90s when sludge metal was in its infancy, the band followed in the footsteps of Eyehategod, Acid Bath, Buzzov-en and Grief when they finally released their debut album in 1997. The band got their feet wet with their eponymous debut that displayed their primal ability to deliver the sludge metal treatment like the big boys with all the caustic fury and hypnotic distortionfests turned up to 11. After an initial positive response the sludge apes quickly pumped out their second release “Our Problem” which was not only met with critical acclaim but remains one of the hallmarks of late 90s sludge metal. As is too often the case, the band became plagued with personal and music industry disputes and soon the MONKEY go bye-bye leaving a mysterious void in the potential that seemed would never find a second life.

Having been almost forgotten as a mere footnote in the growing annals of metal history, IRON MONKEY has left the thick over-grown jungles and released an album of new material. Despite existing in a rather truncated history in their early stages, IRON MONKEY still had their share of lineup changes and with this resurrection there is no exception. This comeback was orchestrated by two of the original founding members: guitarists Jim Rushby and Steve Watson. This decision is somewhat of a gamble since original hardcore punk inspired vocalist Johnny Morrow surprisingly died in 2002. Also adding to this dubious reformation was that the original drummer John Greaves wasn’t invited to rejoin the new MONKEY spanking club. Undeterred, the band has reemerged as a mere trio with Rushby adding vocal duties to his resume and Watson trading in his guitar for bass. New to the mix and picking up the drumming duties is Scott Briggs who brings his hardcore punk sensibilities to the table from his stint with the crusty punkers Chaos U.K.

One of the most immediate head scratchers for those of us who accumulated IRON MONKEY’s mere two releases and the twofer comp release is that 9-13 uses the exact same album cover artwork as the 2-CD compilation “Our Problem / Iron Monkey” which is obviously going to cause great confusion and could possibly invoke a flurry of cursing in paragraphs for the uninitiated who happen to accidentally order the wrong product unknowingly. The product inside though is quite different than the two albums that precede it. This is the new IRON MONKEY that has grown out of the old. While incorporating the expected template of grinding sludge riffery and adrenaline fueled feedback frenzies all dressed up with misanthropic vocal tantrums, the band has certainly opted out of dirge doom drudgery and added a more hardcore punk infused energetic delivery that ultimately leads back to the days of such early birds like Discharge which is a welcome change since the early albums were lacking that extra ass burning drive that this one seems to have.

In fact, the opener “Crown Of Electrodes” misleads by insinuating that the band has gone hardcore and crust altogether. The following “OmegaMangler” does nothing to dispel that conclusion. Finally on the title track which is third on the queue list, the old IRON MONKEY begins to shine through as the punk infused drive yields to the distant sludgy jungle calls of the past with that unmistakable Sabbath-esque doom shuffle and high octane distortion cranked up for full pyroclastic feedback flows. On “Toadcrucifier - R.I.P.P.E.R” we’re treated to an extraordinary bout of feedback abuse before the energized bluesy sludge shuffle steals the limelight. “Destroyer” tears the roof off the joint as it delivers one of the most unrelenting and uncompromising heaviness of the band’s entire career and one that sounds like the ultimate crowd please in a live setting. Ditto for the following “Mortarhex.” “The Rope” is perhaps my favorite track of the lot as it delivers an instantly evil-as-fuck riff supplemented by Rushby’s more than adequate for the job vocal delivery. In fact, Rushby does an excellent job at replacing Morrow as he has perfect control over the gargling grunge and sludge mood setting management that this style of metal requires. “Doomsday Impulse Multiplier” continues almost by the numbers, the full sludge effect. “Moreland St. Hammervortex” takes a stab at creating a lengthy near ten minute closer guaranteed to leave a caustic acrid taste in your mouth with intended results delivered.

In the end, i understand why IRON MONKEY felt they had to leave the jungle and jump onto the world’s stage once again. As the internet allows older music to be exposed to a wider world audience, their first two albums have gained more recognition than they did at their time of release and there has always been a sense of unfulfilled destiny as the group mysteriously disbanded seemingly forever. Overall, 9-13 provides a platform for the two founders to uncork all that pent up sludgy rage that has been simmering for two decades and unleashes it in full metal fury and for once doesn’t sound overly derivative of early sludge masters Eyehategod or Acid Bath. Here they exude a volcanic explosive energetic release that in some ways blows away their 90s output. However, the whole thing still comes off as rather retro as countless sludge bands have long surpassed IRON MONKEY in their ability to perform their metal jungle gym routine. Despite the recycled album cover that is supplemented by recycled 90s sludge tricks of the past, these guys trimmed down to a trio do a surprisingly excellent performance of a nice modern punk infused retro sludge metal routine.

Although bands like Neurosis and Intronaut, for example, have long ago taken the sludge metal paradigm to more progressive pastures leaving the 1.0 version of the sub sounding a little one dimensional, IRON MONKEY nevertheless exudes a revitalized energy on their latest 9-13 despite not offering a great deal of variation in terms of compositional development. If old school feedback and fuzz coupled with crushing riffs augmented with the classic angry vocal effect is your poison, then 9-13 won’t disappoint but if you don’t exist in an anachronistic bubble of another era, then this one just misses the mark at finding a top tier status under the infinitely more sophisticated bar that modern metal bands have raised so high. In the end, 9-13 will ignite the pistons, grease the spark plugs and rev the engines and produce the full adrenaline effect that only this sort of raw, filthy and primal type of metal can induce, but after 18 years i would have expected some sort of upgrade in compositional development. As it stands 9-13 will have to serve as a decent but not outstanding slice of super heavy sludge metal from one of the underground classics of the 90s. Whether IRON MONKEY deserves a position in the 21st century as a contemporary sludge metal act remains to be seen, but i have to admit that i’m a sucker for this sort of primordial manic outburst of energy without the overly complex layering of effects at times.

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