I.R.O.N. is a side-project of military industrial outfit Legionarii. As many in the martial industrial scene have made their way through various other styles of music, I.R.O.N. is a deviation from Legionarii’s sound.
Whereas Legionarii falls sonically in territory populated by many martial industrial contemporaries – and that is not to say they sound like anyone else – I.R.O.N.’s album title suggests, and delivers, on the promise of an entirely different and evolutionary martial soundscape.
I.R.O.N. quotes the Futurist Manifesto, by F. T. Marinetti, 1909, on the album’s Bandcamp page, effectively setting the tone for what is about to come:
“We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds.”
I.R.O.N. has certainly taken the Futurist Manifesto to heart with Evolving.
I.R.O.N. is literally rage of the machine – deep, resonating percussion on nearly every track accentuated by pulsing bass and sequence lines. If you could picture the charge of an armored division, this could be the soundtrack for it. I.R.O.N. retains a common sound of vaguely familiar symphonic overtones, but veers off to mechanical and driving compositions.
Not knowing the history of Legionarii in regards to any possible early work or influences, the album carries obvious hard electronic or EBM overtones. Many martial industrial-styled artists come from the metal scene but perhaps there are some alternate musical interests at play here. Several tracks prominently feature edgy electronics, backed with reverb-laden effects, strings and bombastic horns, creating driving compositions meant to pummel the enemy into submission.
I am both a fan of stylized work like Arditi and the diversity of Von Thronstahl, and I welcome this addition of hardcore electronics to the scene. Each of the album’s nine tracks offer variations on a technical aspect of war (a phrase used by I.R.O.N. itself).
Standouts are “United Machines”, “Mechanic State” and “The Power Inside (Holy Armor Edit)”, as these are the most aggressive on the album. But, overall, Evolving sets out and accomplishes its mission to reflect the machine fascination of the Futurists. While not quite the Art of Noises, Luigi Russolo would be proud.
01) United Machines
02) Dawn of Steel
03) Hammer Down, Build Up
04) Assemblage / Convoys
05) Mechanic State
07) Holy Armor
09) The Power Inside (Holy Armor Edit)