A while ago we had the pleasure to do a brief interview with Brandan Schieppati to talk about how Rise Above Fitness came to be and his involvement in the fitness world. As a dandy Easter egg, Brandan answered the question “are you still working on music” with a resounding “FUCK YES”. This is one of the first places word of The Iron Son was leaked to the public and confirmation his working relationship with extreme metal master Mick Kenney would continue on. For those of you familiar with their project, Suffer Well, you would remember the styles of the two complimenting each other quite nicely. So how would the two collaborate on The Iron Son given plenty of time to realize and bring to life a multitude of Brandan’s musical ideas?
With the two musicians you get a pairing that makes complete sense on many levels. Brandan, of course, gained a loyal worldwide following with his many years on the stick for Bleeding Through as one of the more intense, in-your-face vocalists around. Mick as a metal producer has refined his craft of course killing it with the mighty Anaal Nathrahk and others for many years to the point where his style is extremely recognizable as an all-in-one self contained metal production machine, only rivaled by Devin Townsend’s “I can do it all” genius. Putting these two in the same studio is a result that any metalhead or lover of the heavy would appreciate, and go all “Walmart on a Black Friday” to get their hands on.
And if you remember Suffer Well, you remember that the songs are full throttle, fifth gear, dynamic modern metal with splashes of hardcore influence. And you get that here, just put through the beefed up, slick-as-shit production tank that cranks up the intensity of a relentless barrage of machine gun fire. It’s as if Mick is pinning you down with a jackhammer to the chest as Brandan screams in your face until you’re deaf. “Unleash Hell” “Take No Shit” and “Worth Less” are fine examples of the out of control viciousness the two gel on, all in an album that clocks in at about 28 minutes. Short and to the motherfucking point.
And if there is any complaint we would could have about this album is that during our first gym session we only got through about half a workout before the disc was done. But there is a simple solution to that….just play it again. Which is why the LP works so well. Where many fine musicians go for the 74 minute progressive epic, The Iron Son shows up, destroys, and leaves. Brandan is a smart enough vocalist to play to his strengths of rabid no-holds-barred rage but throws in the occasional melodic hook to break it up. And of course with how Mick produces his brand of furious industrial tinged extreme metal, you get plenty of sharp edits, starts, stops, drops, tempo shifts and punch-you-in the-neck punishment.
For all the other albums we’ve heard this year, because of how honest a record this is, it stands out in it’s respective genre as one of the best over the course of 2015. You may proceed to download and go crush your leg day. Just remember to hit repeat a few times.