Unum is out now via Prophecy Productions.
Based in Limerick in Ireland, Iron Mountain explore a unique and mesmerising brand of folk rock. Prioritising the traditional folk elements over distortion and pop song structures, their approach is an exploratory and expansive one with some songs ranging up to nearly twelve minutes in length. Nuance and space are the kings of the Iron Mountain. Songs are sweeping and epic like a rolling mountain range or waves that begin by lapping a beach but slowly become more tempestuous until they roil and tumult.
We recently spoke to the band about the album and the story behind each of the songs. Topics ranged from uillean pipes to Native American flute.
Buy Unum via Bandcamp.
The Latin for ‘one’ is ‘Unum’. Not much more to it than that.
Our album’s premier track is ‘Bonfires’, which starts unusually with an isolated electric bass being bowed. This opens out into a chilled melodic intro featuring violins, flute and guitar. This works its way into an uilleann pipes arpeggio, which finally brings us into the meat of the track, where the rock elements of the band come to the fore. There is a lot of interplay here between guitar, flute and uilleann pipes, as the track rolls along to a sudden climax.
Starting with an uilleann pipes drone and distant drum sound, ‘Enthralldom’ brings the listener to a dark mystical world. Featuring a devilish guitar sound, melodic rhythm flute, and percussive bass line, the track works its way along until finally a break down happens, where the cry of the uilleann pipes becomes the centre piece, joined by harmonizing flute, and a heavy backdrop of guitar, bass and drums. This track brings you right up to the edge of the cliff.
At just under 6 minutes ‘Blitz’ is our album’s most immediate track, and also the most up-tempo. Featuring flute, saxophone, and an array of percussive tools, this track is designed to make the listener feel very uncomfortable in parts. In fact madness should begin to seep in, before a more chilled outro makes everything right with the world again.
‘Powow’ is possibly our most ambitious track, and brings together a wide variety of influences. As the name suggests, there are heavy Native American undertones going on, featuring a Native American flute, and a gentle rain dance type drum beat. These softer moments, are counteracted without apology with much heavier sections, where metal guitar and pounding drums becomes prominent, along with intertwining uilleann pipes, Irish flute, and violin. There is a seamless back and forth to this track between those two contrasting dynamics, which keeps the listener guessing as to what’s going to happen next!
‘Opium’, the album’s final track, is the bands signature piece, and the one we feel represents us and what we are musically trying to achieve perhaps the best of all. It opens with a sprawling swell featuring flute, which then evolves into a more purposeful section, where a drum beat joins, and just the head of the flute is played to add a spooky other-worldly effect. The uilleann pipes then take the lead with a dynamic solo, and the track bounces along twisting this way and that, building towards a crescendo of epic proportions. There is a Middle Eastern/desert rock vibe to this piece.
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