Thursday, 7 October 2010

DOWNLOAD: Iron Pirate - Iron Pirate

Iron Pirate

Iron Pirate
Neigh Music


When I was putting on gigs at NFR Live there was one I anticipated more than most, the one where we brought Iron Pirate to town. By day he is an actual doctor of power - Dr Toby Balson, 'energy saving consultant', but by night, he's an infamous wayfaring butcher of a nostalgic digital domain.  Of all the demos or self recorded cds I have ever been sent this ranks right up there at the top in terms of musical spectacle and artwork alongside Turbowolf's cd which came bound in cassette tape and included a match for starting fires.

Until Ikonika's album inspired me to revisit a load of childhood game music I hadn't noticed how close a lot of this sounds to the Thunderforce soundtrack, but that only adds to the appeal for me now. Two years ago I had this album in my top 20 of the year; in fact I had it one place higher than Portishead's Third - The Wire's album of the year I seem to remember. There you go. When I came to write up my end of year list I jumped over to Iron Pirate's MySpazz to find it dead; shut down by Pirate or killed by corporate intervention I don't know. I have no phone number or email for Iron, there's no trace of him on the Internet. The label on which he put this out on; Neigh Music gave the album anothe bump in March 2009, but they haven;t updated their blog since the start of the year, and all is quiet, but email them and see if there are still copies available to buy.  Iron Pirate seems to have disappeared into the mists. Gone - but in no way forgotten. It's possible I have the only finished copy of this album. I'd like to think that's not true and there are 100 other people out there who have this and all hold it in as high regard, but that's probably not true. Hopefully by making this available to you 100 more people really will get into this – and maybe it will help flush him out of hiding and back into producing more awesome 8-bit thrash.

Here's what I said at the time:

"Welcome to your doom!” So begins the home recorded, hand-made, self-released journey of the Iron Pirate as he takes his first steps into his 8-bit, digital thrash metal odyssey. It isn’t just the concept of this that is compelling, but that the songs themselves are such gargantuan entities in their own right. If this was an album played out with full thrash/death metal instruments it would be hailed as one of the greatest collections of Metal anthems committed to tape. Despite its lack of vocals, there is a fully realised imagery conveyed through the music and the battle lore invoked through the song titles is tangible – Cathedral Of Doom, In The Realm of The White Spider, and this, probably the best thrash title ever: Abominable Iron Steamship Of Death. The artwork is exceptional, each track illustrated by iconic 80’s comic imagery and embellished by the hands of the Pirate himself. As with any high octane metal record, there are so many moments when one riff yields to another, synthesized or not the section in Iron Steamship where the steely pumping section grits its teeth before baring down, all sword-slashing gun-blazing synth-guitar soloing. Pretty much the Crystal Castles of metal, and yeah, one better than Portishead”

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