A terrific album of swampy, crunchy rawk.
What a great record this is. Not precisely heavy metal, but more of a heavy blues/hard rock hybrid, Little Rock's Iron Tongue are an outfit that hearken back to the days when loud guitar bands weren't afraid of soulful vocals -- and they have the chops to pull them off. Maybe the closest analogy I can think of nowadays is Graveyard, whose own Hisingen Blues was a standout album of 2011. Iron Tongue's latest, The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, is a little rougher around the edges than that, but it's still a damn fine record, with plenty of swampy, brooding guitars, from-the-gut vocals and slogging mid-tempo rhythms.
Album opener "Ever After" sets the listener up nicely, utilizing all the aforementioned elements to create a dense sonic stew before moving to the slightly more stomping "Witchery" and the positively lively "Said N Done". Occasional female vocals and shimmering keyboards crop up now and then to keep the mix from getting stale, but this is primarily a fuzzhead's dream: layers of bluesy, sinewy guitars piled on more sinewy guitars, full-throated anthemic vocals and an overwhelming sense of fighting against the encroaching doom. Rock and roll redemption, indeed. Party on, Garth. Party the fuck on.