American rockers Spiral Grave – who are, of course, vaunted doom expositors Iron Man minus the much-missed guitarist Al Morris III – have come up with an absolute stormer in the shape of their just-released album Legacy of the Anointed. Over the course of eight tracks and three quarters of an hour they explore every avenue of heavy music in it’s ‘doom’ guise; no metallic musical avenue is left unexplored, no stone left unturned as the power trio that comprises the musical part of Spiral Grave (bassist ‘Iron’ Louie Strachan, ‘new’ guitarist Willy Rivera and drummer Jason ‘Mot’ Waldmann) push and pull the sound through a myriad of twists and oh-so-listenable turns.

And over the top of all that, you get the added bonus of vocals from ‘Screaming Mad’ Dee Calhoun; a one-man metal opera who whips himself into a barking frenzy on tracks like Tanglefoot, Calhoun is equally commanding on more stately material; second track Modern Day Golden Calf finds our protagonist adopting a leering drawl, building the tension until the listener can bear it no more and letting out a gloriously controlled roar on the track’s ‘chorus’. It’s a thrilling showcase of the man’s talents.

Strachan and Rivera have meshed incredibly well in short order since the death of Morris; Strachan – who possesses one of the best bass sounds your humble interlocutor has ever heard – weaves his way in and out of Rivera’s riffs quite superbly – have a listen to his rumbling, hot-springs-ready-to-blow playing on Nothing for proof – and if likening them to Butler and Iommi might be slightly over egging the pudding it’s certainly a fine descriptor of the sort of noise the pair are cooking up. In other words, this is essential listening if ‘proper’ doom rattles your bones…

Iron Man were a criminally overlooked heavy metal entity-  don’t let that happen to Spiral Grave!

Legacy of the Anointed is out now.