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xIron Sharpens Ironx – The Tragedy Of Mankind

xIron Sharpens Ironx
The Tragedy Of Mankind
by Joseph Hausmann at 24 May 2020, 11:58 AM

Formed in 2019, xIRON SHARPENS IRONx, has released its debut EP, "The Tragedy Of Mankind" through Undercity Records. This is a Blackened Death Metal one-man solo project. Creating a solo project, especially in the Metal community, is extremely difficult work. You have to know all the instruments you are using as well as develop your vocal skills. It also requires a degree of dedication that is commendable. Larry Passeneir has done this with this solo project and has created some interesting music.

"Oath" kicks off the EP and is extremely short, coming to an end at forty seconds. Larry shows us the Hardcore elements that he is using in the EP. The riffs are decent. The vocal work leaves something to be desired though, it uses Black Metal techniques but they need to be a bit more refined. "Atom Bomb" broadens the vocal ranges to deeper registers but again needs some refinement. Transitions between certain segments of the track are choppy and don’t form a cohesive path. Now, his deeper vocals are decent. They have a good power within them. The cleans in this track felt out of place pulling the listener away from that Blackened Death Metal feel. "Dehumanized" has some well-crafted riffs and the deep gutturals are more refined here. This track is the gem in this EP. The riffs break into a groove rhythm that really gives the track a driving direction. Larry does break away from those deep vocals back into the Black Metal stylings for a portion of the track.

"Distance/Depression" is another quick track but has a nice clean guitar melody that runs the course of the song. This soundscape feel breaks us away from the rest of the EP but it is a good respite. Larry’s talents as a guitarist really shine in this track and the next. "Among The Shadows" has some solid, beefy guitar riffs that want to make you headbang. Just like the rest of the EP, the vocals really drive me away from this track. There is a lack of cohesion and transition that is needed to tie all the parts together. "Straight Edge (Minor Threat)" is nothing like the rest of "The Tragedy Of Mankind." It completely breaks away from the theme of the EP. This is a straight Hardcore track, very fast paced. The lyrics are quite interesting though.

This one was hard for me. On one hand, I do commend Larry on creating xIRON SHARPENS IRONx. Like I said before, it is extremely difficult to do a solo project and the debut recording is always the hardest one. When you release that to the world it can be a daunting task. On the other hand, there are a lot of missing pieces in this EP. The lack of cohesion between song parts and transitions are something that need to be addressed. I feel like this EP has so many different directions that it's hard to find a solid foundation to go with. Having said all of that, we need solo projects in the Metal community to keep pushing the bounds of the sound. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they miss. This is a miss.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 3

1 Star Rating

1. Oath
2. Atom Bomb
3. Dehumanized
4. Distance/Depression
5. Among Shadows
6. Straight Edge (Minor Threat)
Larry Passenier – All Instruments
Record Label: Undercity Records


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