Sound Advice: Sewer Disease, by IRN
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Sound Advice: Sewer Disease, by IRN

The Toronto doom metallers trade icy slush for searing sludge on their full-length debut.


The debut record from sludge-meisters IRN earned a place on our list the best regrettably overlooked metal released last year. A gripping, glacially paced release consisting of a single track, the self-titled EP was more bone-cold slush that sludge. Now back with a full-length album, IRN have traded the gelid for the volcanic with Sewer Disease.

The three massive tracks that make up the record all plod forward unrelentingly, shaking the ground and cutting a broad swath of pain in their wake, like a grim clear-cutting machine. The way the songs move is all doom, from the anguish to the ceremony, but the tracks are far from funereal—”Sewers” has an acidic soreness makes the track seem to swell and finally burst as it progresses, while “Causing Decay” replaces its initial mournfulness with boiling anger.

The final track, “Rat’s Disease,” is the weirdest on Sewer Disease and the most emotionally fraught. The guitar tones writhe out from the centre like the buzzing of flies over a piece of carrion. There’s a sense of disgust on the track that permeates every aspect of it, a grotesque weight that grows over the course of the song. Sewer Disease is the exact opposite of the kind of cathartic doom that leaves you feeling cleansed, but it’s ideal for anyone who wants to wallow in their own emotional filth.